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Do things look the way they feel?

Analysis 73 (1):86-96 (2013)

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  1. Molyneux’s Question and the Amodality of Spatial Experience.Janet Levin - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):590-610.
    A recent study published in Nature Neuroscience purports to have answered a question posed to Locke in 1688 by his friend William Molyneux, namely, whether ‘a man born blind and made to see’ would be able to identify, immediately and by vision alone, objects previously known only by touch. The answer, according to the researchers – and as predicted by Molyneux, as well as Locke, Berkeley, and others – is ‘likely negative. The newly sighted subjects did not exhibit an immediate (...)
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  • Two Visual Systems in Molyneux Subjects.Gabriele Ferretti - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (4):643-679.
    Molyneux’s question famously asks about whether a newly sighted subject might immediately recognize, by sight alone, shapes that were already familiar to her from a tactile point of view. This paper addresses three crucial points concerning this puzzle. First, the presence of two different questions: the classic one concerning visual recognition and another one concerning vision-for-action. Second, the explicit distinction, reported in the literature, between ocular and cortical blindness. Third, the importance of making reference to our best neuroscientific account on (...)
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  • Learning to See.Boyd Millar - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (5):601-620.
    The reports of individuals who have had their vision restored after a long period of blindness suggest that, immediately after regaining their vision, such individuals are not able to recognize shapes by vision alone. It is often assumed that the empirical literature on sight restoration tells us something important about the relationship between visual and tactile representations of shape. However, I maintain that, immediately after having their sight restored, at least some newly sighted individuals undergo visual experiences that instantiate basic (...)
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  • Representing Shape in Sight and Touch.E. J. Green - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Investigating What Felt Shapes Look Like.Sam Clarke - 2016 - I-Perception 7 (1).
    A recent empirical study claims to show that the answer to Molyneux’s question is negative, but, as John Schwenkler points out, its findings are inconclusive: Subjects tested in this study probably lacked the visual acuity required for a fair assessment of the question. Schwenkler is undeterred. He argues that the study could be improved by lowering the visual demands placed on subjects, a suggestion later endorsed and developed by Kevin Connolly. I suggest that Connolly and Schwenkler both underestimate the difficulties (...)
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  • Commentary: “Multimodal Theories of Recognition and Their Relation to Molyneux's Question”.John Schwenkler - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Multimodal Theories of Recognition and Their Relation to Molyneux's Question.Nicholas Altieri - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • Are Pictures Peculiar Objects of Perception?Gabriele Ferretti - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (3):372-393.
    ABSTRACT:Are face-to-face perception and picture perception different perceptual phenomena? The question is controversial. On the one hand, philosophers have offered several solid arguments showing that, despite some resemblances, they are quite different perceptual phenomena and that pictures are special objects of perception. On the other hand, neuroscientists routinely use pictures in experimental settings as substitutes for normal objects, and this practice is successful in explaining how the human visual system works. But this seems to imply that face-to-face perception and picture (...)
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  • Obstacles to Testing Molyneux's Question Empirically.Tony Cheng - 2015 - I-Perception 6 (4).
    There have recently been various empirical attempts to answer Molyneux’s question, for example, the experiments undertaken by the Held group. These studies, though intricate, have encountered some objections, for instance, from Schwenkler, who proposes two ways of improving the experiments. One is “to re-run [the] experiment with the stimulus objects made to move, and/or the subjects moved or permitted to move with respect to them” (p. 94), which would promote three dimensional or otherwise viewpoint-invariant representations. The other is “to use (...)
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