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Title: Molyneux’s question and the phenomenology of shape
Author: Shimizu, Shogo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 1058
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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William Molyneux raised the following question: if a congenital blind person is made to see, and is visually presented with a cube and a globe, would he be able to call the shapes before him a cube and a globe before touching them? Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Reid presented their phenomenological view of shape perception, i.e. their view as to what it is like to perceive shape by sight and touch, in responding to Molyneux’s Question. The four philosophers shared the view that visual perception delivers no solid shape. This view would provide a premise for an argument for immaterial objects. The purpose of my thesis is to reject that argument. Kant’s view and John Campbell’s externalist account offer a way to reject the premise of the argument in question. However, my strategy is not to adopt their view. I pursue Reichenbach’s view that the there is no congruence or incongruence involved in the visual phenomenology. I develop his view, and propose the view that visual perception delivers no flat or solid shape. Although my view endorses the premise in question, I can offer a way to reject the argument. This is because my view is compatible with a form of externalism about perception (which differs from Campbell’s). My view can also do full justice to the phenomenological views presented by the four philosophers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BD Speculative Philosophy