Neurons and Neonates: Reflections on the Molyneux Problem

Shaun Gallagher

in How the Body Shapes the Mind

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199271948
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603112 | DOI:
 Neurons and Neonates: Reflections on the Molyneux Problem

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This chapter looks at problems and solutions involved in Molyneux’s famous question to John Locke — whether a person born blind, if they were given sight, would be able to recognize shapes learned by touch. Traditional empiricist answers to this question are based on principles of perception that can be challenged by recent research in developmental psychology and neuroscience. A new answer to the Molyneux problem is proposed, along with a new set of principles.

Keywords: intermodal perception; Molyneux problem; vision; haptic touch; critical period; brain plasticity

Chapter.  10294 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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