Philosophical problems, cluster concepts, and the many lives of Molyneux’s question

Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):541-558 (2013)
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Abstract
Molyneux’s question, whether the newly sighted might immediately recognize tactilely familiar shapes by sight alone, has produced an array of answers over three centuries of debate and discussion. I propose the first pluralist response: many different answers, both yes and no, are individually sufficient as an answer to the question as a whole. I argue that this is possible if we take the question to be cluster concept of sub-problems. This response opposes traditional answers that isolate specific perceptual features as uniquely applicable to Molyneux’s question and grant viability to only one reply. Answering Molyneux’s question as a cluster concept may also serve as a methodology for resolving other philosophical problems
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