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Keywords:

  • Campbell;
  • experience;
  • extension;
  • mind-independence;
  • Reid;
  • sound;
  • Strawson;
  • touch

Abstract: Two notable thought experiments are discussed in this article: Reid's thought experiment about whether a being supplied with tactile sensations alone could acquire the conception of extension and Strawson's thought experiment about whether a being supplied with auditory sensations alone could acquire the conception of mind-independent objects. The experiments are considered alongside Campbell's argument that only on the so-called relational view of experience is it possible for experiences to make available to their subjects the concept of mind-independent objects. I consider how the three issues ought to be construed as raising questions about woulds, coulds, or shoulds—and argue that only on the normative construal of them are they resolvable as intended by the a priori methods of the philosophers who pose them.