# Philosophy Meets Neuroscience: The Molyneux's Problem

Consider the Molyneux's problem

"If a man born blind can feel the differences between shapes such as spheres and cubes, could he similarly distinguish those objects by sight if given the ability to see?" (Wikipedia)

There is recent evidence$^{1}$ that the answer is likely negative. In their experiment, Held et al. used "three-dimensional forms drawn from a children’s shape set" (Legos, actually). I was thinking would the results be the same, if the stimuli were reconstructions of snakes or other reptiles? Humans are argued to have evolved fear modules$^{2}$ in their brain for such creatures. Or, if the stimuli were directly related to humans, e.g. body parts? Could this kind of experiment test whether a child's mind is tabula rasa?

References:

$^{1}$ Richard Held, Yuri Ostrovsky, Beatrice deGelder, Tapan Gandhi, Suma Ganesh, Umang Mathur, Pawan Sinha, The newly sighted fail to match seen with felt, Nature Neuroscience, vol. 14, pp. 551–553, 2011.

$^{2}$ Arne Öhman, Susan Mineka, The Malicious Serpent: Snakes as a Prototypical Stimulus for an Evolved Module of Fear, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Z6:6, pp. 5-9, 2003.

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