ECO: On blindness and the arts logo


We attempt to provide up-to-date links to external sites that we believe might be of interest to our visitors on this website. We do not endorse the products or services that one may find by following links from our pages, nor are we responsible for the accuracy of the content on those pages.


Blue globe

Eco Sound Logo

To contact us email:

We are based in Leicester, UK


Ancient Greek, Verb, pronounced Ekh-o. The Transliterated word is Echo. New Testament Greek Lexicon


“[To] have (hold) in the hand, in the sense of wearing, to have (hold) possession of the mind (refers to alarm, agitating emotions, etc.), to hold fast keep, to have or comprise or involve, to regard or consider or hold as.”




Text Menu for Blind Readers: Home, Publications: -Philosophy, -Experiences, -Psychology, -Arts education, -History, sociology and culture Who’s who: -Philosophy, -Experiences, -Psychology, -Arts education, -History, sociology and culture, Institution guide, Gallery, Calendar, Editor, Archive



Who’s Who: Philosophers

All modern thinking on blindness and the arts started with these thinkers. The recorded history of arts and blindness in the West can be traced back to Antiquity, however on this website we have restricted our description to authors of the Enlightenment until now, and in particular writing from the time of the original question from William Molyneux to John Locke.

John Locke

Information on Locke

The British philosopher who taught at Oxford University from the 17th century and was, for a while at the end of this century, a political dissident in France and Holland. Largely credited with the development of the Enlightenment, and whose Essay on Human Understanding determined our modern understanding of blindness and perception.

George Berkeley

Information on Berkeley

Academically, Bishop Berkeley was a polymath, and wrote widely on a multitude of subjects. He was the first to empirically test and observe the question William Molyneux posed to John Locke, when he tested a boy recovering from congenital blindness in the 18th century. He found it took a while for the boy to understand his new world.

Denis Diderot

Information on Diderot

A French philosopher, atheist and one time ally of the king of France, Diderot became a political prisoner and later wrote A Letter on the Blind. This questioned the omnipotence of accepted doctrine, and championed the morality of the blind population. It was also a political move to challenge the primacy of sight in human understanding.

Thomas nagel

Information on Nagel

Nagel is a contemporary philosopher based at New York University. Although specialising in ethics and the law, Nagel has written on the subject of subjectivity and objectivity of identity, and their links to perception. His best known essay on this topic is What Is It Like To Be A Bat, in which he discusses an understanding in terms of a world identity constructed without vision.

Robert hopkins

Information on Hopkins

Hopkins is a British philosopher, currently teaching at Sheffield University, whose prime area of interest is the understanding of pictures and aesthetics. Although he argues that congenitally blind people can develop a sense of understanding of sculpture, he disagrees with Kennedy, for example, in his belief that pictorial representation is purely visual.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Information on Merleau-Ponty

A French philosopher who wrote about the phenomenology of perception, and particularly how it relates to the identity of the self, around the middle of the 20th century. Although he did not address blindness and the arts directly, his discussion concepts such as “the phantom limb” and “the blind man’s cane” addressed a physically disabled social identity.

Copyright © 2010