Molyneux's Question in Berkeley's Theory of Vision



Published 14-06-2017
Juan R. Loaiza


I propose a reading of Berkeley's Essay towards a New Theory of Vision in which Molyneux-type questions as thought experiments instead of arguments. First, I present the general argumentative strategy in the NTV, and provide grounds for the traditional reading. Second, I consider some roles of thought experiments, and classify Molyneux-type questions in the NTV as constructive conjectural thought experiments. Third, I argue that (i) there is no distinction between Weak and Strong Heterogeneity theses in the NTV; (ii) that Strong Heterogeneity is the basis of Berkeley's theory; and (iii) that Molyneux-type questions act as illustrations of Strong Heterogeneity.

How to Cite

Loaiza, J. R. (2017). Molyneux’s Question in Berkeley’s Theory of Vision. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 32(2), 231–247.
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Berkeley, Molyneux's question, Heterogeneity, thought experiments, perception