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Voir et juger. Le problème de Molyneux et ses enjeux philosophiques aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

Abstract : The dispute surrounding Molyneux’s problem was a major factor in the emergence of empiricism, an original theoretical field characterized by the idea of a genesis of perception. Perception of the senses is considered as a historical phenomenon, which must not be understood as the recognition that we do not perceive in the same manner through different periods in history, but as the 18th century discovery that we do not perceive in the same way throughout the different stages of life. The study of Molyneux’s problem thus helps to go beyond the traditional definition of empiricism as a set of doctrines asserting that all ideas arise from the senses. It is our perceptions themselves which are subjected to historicity. Molyneux’s problem, and the various experiments it led to, did not simply illustrate pre-established theories but generated concepts, which were also part of the legacy of classical rationalism. One of the main consequences of this idea of the historicity of perception touches on the question of the subject – the man of the Enlightenment is not subjected to the laws established by God but can construct his perceptions – not freely but according to the circumstances.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 2:15:12 PM
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Marion Chottin. Voir et juger. Le problème de Molyneux et ses enjeux philosophiques aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles. Philosophie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2010. Français. ⟨hal-01368007⟩

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