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Obstacles to Testing Molyneux's Question Empirically

Cheng, T; (2015) Obstacles to Testing Molyneux's Question Empirically. i-Perception , 6 (4) 10.1177/2041669515599330. Green open access


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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 geometrically simpler shapes, such as the cube and sphere in Molyneux’s original proposal, or planar figures instead of three-dimensional solids’’ (p. 188). Connolly argues against the first modification but agrees with the second. In this article, I argue that the second modification is also problematic (though still surmountable), and that both Schwenkler and Connolly are too optimistic about the prospect of addressing Molyneux’s question empirically.

Type: Article
Title: Obstacles to Testing Molyneux's Question Empirically
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/2041669515599330
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2041669515599330
Language: English
Additional information: Creative Commons CC-BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (http://www.uk. sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: Molyneux question, blind subjects, movement, raised-line drawings, amodal representation, touch
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474020
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