Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Post #5 - How do we know what we know?

This week and next, we'll be tackling the root of knowledge - how do we learn the knowledge that ends up in our head? When it's all said and done, how did our knowledge of the world get into our mind, stay there, and be able to be recalled?

Descartes believed that we learned info through reason alone. We had to be skeptical of many many things, as he felt that we should be (especially of the learning of the Middle Ages). To quote Sophie's World, "Descartes maintains that we cannot accept anything as being true unless we can clearly and distinctly perceive it... You could say that every single thought must be weighed and measured, rather in the way Galileo wanted everything to be measured and everything immeasurable to be made measurable." Through this perception - though flawed b/c we can't always trust our senses, we must use reason to figure out what we're perceiving. One of the things that we have built in (innate) in us is our sense of God, according to Descartes.

To sum up with a quote from Sophie's World, "a rationalist believes in reason as the primary source of knowledge, and he may also believe that man has certain innate ideas that exist in his mind prior to all experience. And the clearer such ideas may be, the more certain it is that they correspond to reality."

On the flipside is the empirical belief that we learn about the world through experience. By contrast, we start with a tabula rasa, a blank slate, or nothing in our minds, and the things that we learn is added there b/c we have experienced it. "An empiricist will derive all knowledge of the world from what the senses tell the final analysis, all the material for our knowledge of the world comes to us through sensations. Knowledge that cannot be traced back to a simple sensation is therefore false knowledge and must consequently he rejected." These ideas began with Englishman John Locke and his work, Essay on Human Understanding.

In your own opinion, how do you think we learn? Is it through reason? Through experience? Both? Neither? Another way not mentioned here? Your comments (200 words).

Due Monday, 10/20/08.


  1. I believe that we learn through experience and reason. However, I think that learning through experience is much more effective than learning through reason. I believe that we all have a common knowledge, reason, or common sense. To perform an expected behavior or action is common sense. For example, coming inside when it is raining. No one is taught that it is just known to come inside so that one does not get wet. To learn some things people need to experience them. I think to learn certain skills; one must experience them and then practice through repetition to master the skill. For example, to have people skills one must interact with people. A person could read in a book how to talk to others but unless they talk to others, those facts about how to greet one another are useless and never become skills. Something a person experiences first hand is more meaningful because they can connect an emotion to it and will therefore be more likely to remember it and learn from it. In addition, I believe that we also learn by being taught. Mastering pre-calculus requires years of mathematical skill development. You learn to add and subtract; multiply and divide; decimals and fractions, algebra and then geometry. You learn and refine your math tools to learn the next building block of mathematics. I believe that to learn most effectively one must learn through your own reason and experience and through others by taught.

  2. Learning is a combination of what the early philosophers once postulated.

    I believe that learning is a combination of experience, reason, as well as a third person perception.

    First off, I'll explain experience. Mostly everyone will agree that through experiencing certain things you learn. Whether it be from your mistakes, maybe a scientific experiment, whatever it may be. Your experiences of everyday life undoubtedly contribute to a major fraction of knowledge learned throughout a lifetime.

    When one is sufficiently verse with a variety of experiences, the gain the ability to reason. Reason is valuable because it gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge without experience. This is where logic comes into play. Let's say you've got this boulder and a friend with huge muscles. He can easily throw the rock across a given river. Now lets say you've got a rock half the size of the boulder he just tossed across the river. Without your friend having to actually throw it, you already know that he can throw the smaller rock across.

    Using reason and logic, you know that if the rock is smaller, it is probably lighter. If the rock is lighter, then you can probably throw it at least as far. Without using logic or reason you would have to throw all different sizes and masses of rocks. In general, reason and logic fills the spaces between the knowledge gained by experience .

    The third element to knowledge is observation of others, or third person knowledge. This knowledge is anything that you learned from someone else. This includes someone else's reason as well as their experience. Instead of learning from your own mistakes, you are learning from somebody else's mistake. For example, modern day physicists pick up where past scientists have left off. If every single person started over from scratch, there would be no net knowledge gained throughout generations. Instead, we have the knowledge from past generations driving our ultimate level of knowledge even further.

  3. This entire week we have debated, argued, and discussed the ways in which humans acquire knowledge. Is it through a blank slate, do we learn through experience or reason? I don’t know what to believe. I want to believe in experience, but how can I truly know that my theory is correct? My argument for all those who believe in reason is how do you know exactly what you know when you were born. I believe the rational way of thinking is that of course we do not have knowledge in our heads while we were born. How could that be? Therefore, we must learn everything through experience. Earlier in the week, we discussed if humans can learn everything through reading a book. I disagreed with this statement because I analyzed the way in which I was educated. Reading text books alone would never give me the full understanding of a topic. However, experiencing what I was learning in class and/or applying it to my every day life helped me truly understand at a much deeper level that I could ever read in a text book. I also believe that humans learn a majority of their knowledge through making mistakes. How can you make a mistake while reading a text book?

    Leah Cenko

  4. I don't believe you can say that we learn solely through experience or solely through reason. There has to be a combination of both. What you can't learn through reason, you learn through experience and vice versa.
    If it is true that we are born with a blank slate, then our knowledge has to start somewhere. Since we don't go to school as a baby and we can't process thoughts the way an adult can, our experiences are what teaches us. You learn not to touch something hot after the sensation you get from placing your hand on a burner. You touch and feel everything around you, experiencing nature for the first time.
    As we get older, I think it is necessary to learn through both experience and reason. For example, you can go to school to become a doctor. You read about diseases, how to treat them, and how to perform surgeries. You can even practice procedures under the guidance of your instructor. However, everything you couldn't learn from the books (how to deal with patient's families, what to do when a crisis occurs in the operating room) you learn through your experiences as a doctor. You can only learn so much from books and then it is up to nature to take its course and teach you the remainder of what you need to know.
    Knowledge comes from everything around us in various forms. Everyone has different methods of learning and nature has provided us with different methods of teaching: reason and experience. In order to bring your knowledge to it's entire capacity, you must take advantage of both.

    -Rachael Malerman

  5. Dmitry Ionan~
    How are we able to attain, keep, posses, and receive knowledge? That is a question that is debated based on small facts, big theories, and intermediate beliefs amongst people (assumed, but still unknown). I am going to make a synthesis of different ideas and make them into a hybrid concept. I am still presenting my own opinion, but my perspective accounts for collaborated ideas.

    The first thing we should look at is the factual ideas. We can easily say that it is fact that genes and DNA is carried over through parents. Some of these traits can be things such as some behavior and actions, and some can be ability. Talents or skills such as good hands (Parents surgeon), great hand eye coordination (Parent Drift Racer), and exceptional communication skills (Parent International ____ ). Some of this knowledge is inherited, but it is in a skill/talent aspect. How kids can become prodigies or excel so well, without a lot of experience or previous knowledge but have the ability to perform well. Knowledge, skill, and ability all reside within the same categories in my perspective, and the inherited abilities in the first factual idea.

    The second idea is from theories, but in collaboration with the intermediate beliefs amongst people (assumed but not factual ideas). We attain all of our knowledge from experiences and our life, and we are born as Tabula Rasa (Blank Slate). But this idea goes directly against out capabilities to walk, speak, and those patterns that occur in a developing child. So it is assumable to say that we DO hold some essential developing hardwired traits.

    All in all, I think it is simple to say that we do attain genes and skill development advantages, and that we hold hard wired developing traits(walking, speaking, ect.). Others say that we attain ALL of our knowledge directly from life and their experiences, and we are born absolutely empty and fresh. I believe knowledge is attained partially from genes (mostly for skill development), and all other knowledge is either learned through books, information, and the last biggest portion through sensory experiences.
    I believe it’s all a collective collaboration of 1/3 genetics and brain hardwired’ness, 1/3 knowledge through reading and hearing, and the last, but probably biggest portion is sensory and experienced events!

  6. I guess the simply say that no one knows how they know what they know. We get the idea of knowing from how many facts we know. But facts are only a set of universally agreed upon ideas. We can only know what we know by comparing ourselves to others. We know that we know something when someone else doesn’t. Like knowing means that you have something someone else doesn’t. You also know that you know something when it is confirmed by others. You know what you know because other people test you or question your knowledge on a daily basis. People ask you question all the time to find the bounds of your knowledge. But as for people in general we only can become aware of what you know when you are tested. For instance you may think you know the dates for the battles of the Revolutionary War but if when asked you can’t name them you really know them? As far as learning goes like my papa always said “experience is a hard school but for fools there is no other”. I feel ultimately we learn through experience whether it is ours or the experiences of others. Experience is what helps people determine patterns and rules of life. Experience allows us to learn what works and what doesn’t and how to better our lives. That’s why the greatest people in professions are those with experience. Life isn’t an exact science so you have to feel it and see it to know.

  7. The main point over which the rationalists and empiricists disagreed was whether or not something must be sensed by the individual in order for it to be known by the individual. Thus, the existence of a higher power (or, more specifically, a “God”) could be debated by the two groups of philosophers. Rationalists say that our reason innately tells us that a God exists, whereas empiricists could argue that because we have not actually experienced God, he or she cannot exist.
    I think that the answer is somewhere in the middle ground, but closer to the side of the empiricists. There are a good handful of ideas that are considered “innate”, but when one actually thinks about it, almost all of these “innate” ideas – excluding the conception of God – can be attributed to knowledge passed down through the generations from our ancestors who have actually experienced these things. The idea of good and evil, for example, is often cited as an innate idea, but our personal ideas of what is “good” and what is “evil” are solely based off of what we experience early in life and how it makes us feel – it is of note that feelings fall in the realm of empirical experience, not reason.
    As for God, there is really no way to honestly experience him or her. If no one could have ever experienced God in the first place and then passed on the knowledge to their descendents (as is the case with all other supposed “innate ideas”), there are two possibilities. Either God falls into the same realm as the Tooth Fairy and Pikachu, that is, a man-made creation that is not real and is therefore “false knowledge”; or the idea of God is the sole idea encoded into us from before birth, the lone item on our otherwise blank slate. I’m sure a great many people would be offended by the first option there (Especially by such a crass comparison – though notice that Pikachu and Zeus both have a tendency to throw thunderbolts at the wicked! Do we have the makings of a conspiracy theory?!) while not so many would be offended by the second, but as for me, I’m not sure. That’s the one yet-to-be-filled hole in my theory of the origin of knowledge.

  8. I believe we learn through both reason and experience. I agree and disagree with things both Descartes and the rationalists believed. I agree with Descartes that we have to be skeptical about our reasoning. Learning something untrue is just as ineffective as not learning at all. So, we cannot just accept anything as being true. I believe there is always room for mistakes, but when it comes to learning new things its better to make sure all facts are true. I also agree with the rationalists that man has certain innate ideas that exist in his mind prior to all experience. I believe before we experience something we have broad ideas that become bigger as we grow through the experience. I believe learning, in general, is a growing experience. When I began to answer this question I think I sided with the fact that we learn through both reason and experience, but I think now I am siding more with experience. There are many different types of learners that need to do different things to help themselves become successful. Experience is a broad category. I think it is a certain type of experience that helps people learn. I believe people learn a lot from making and fixing their mistakes.

    -Shayna Stillman

  9. I think on this issue I'm going to have to make a Plato/Aristotle cocktail of philosophy and swish it around like a tablespoon of Listerine. It makes me feel dirty, but it is what it is.

    Tabula rasa, as our empiricist friends have so fondly dubbed it, makes the most sense. To assume otherwise is to accept the idea that mankind is endowed with some slumbering knowledge hibernating in wait to be unlocked. This is perilous territory for an atheist, because it makes way for the question, "Well where the hell did that come from?" –the easiest answer to this being "the soul", thereby making some claim to a majestic invisible being. As an atheist, I’ll stick with the blank slate.

    Furthermore, it has been proven that there are certain instincts that man has, such as the fear of sudden loud noises. Are we inherently born with these instincts? Probably not: if someone lugs a hockey puck at me, I'm most likely going to flinch, whereas Chris Osgood would merely swat it away. I'm afraid of a rapidly advancing piece of hard plastic going fifteen miles an hour while Osgood sees it as a brand new pair of shoes. So we get our instincts based off of experience; we all have an “inherent” fear of sudden loud noises because experience in our first days tells us that sudden loud noises usually lead to something bad. If I’m sledding, for example, and I hear a sudden crack beneath me, I can deduct that my sled is broken and I’m screwed. This is based off of that initial knowledge—that instinct—that loud noises are bad.

    However, “knowledge” can be learned without experience. One can study quantum physics for their entire life and become Stephen Hawking, or learn algebra until they become Pythagoras. These do not require “practical experience”. One does not need to jump into a black hole (i.e., experience it) in order to discover its properties, nor does one need to “experience” a hypotenuse before they can comprehend its importance to a triangle.

    Inversely, one can learn a “skill” from a textbook, however the practical uses and application of that skill depends wholly on practice and experience. If someone wants to hunt then they can buy all of the manuals and study them for years, but no amount of “knowledge” can recreate the same know-how as tracking and shooting a deer for oneself. That is the crucial difference between “knowledge” and “skill”: “knowledge” is data and doesn’t need to be recreated to learn, whereas a “skill” is a physical technique that needs to be mastered before it can be properly utilized.

  10. There are many different ways to learn something or to know what we know. I break it down into four main categories. I think that the lightest, least important way someone learns something is through genetics. I believe genetics does not make us learn something just through our genes. I see genetics as more of a persuasion. Genetics can help someone learn something faster. In other words it’s what we "learn easy", what we are a quick learner in. The second category would have to be through others. Many people are taught something new everyday by others. If it’s through example, speaking, or even someone else’s mistakes we are all taught by others on a daily bases. Third, we learn many things through ourselves. We learn from our experiences. If one day you decide to speed on a road and get pulled over, the next day you know to go the speed limit. This is an example of how you learn something through your own mistakes. Obviously the speed limit also teaches you the speed limit of the road, but even without the sign, we could eventually end up knowing what the speed of the road is through our experiences.
    Ryan Bertrand
    Hour 5

  11. After all of our discussion and just for curiosity, I Googled the “brain” and was not surprised with all the sites that I found on how it operates, how it learns and what we still don’t understand about it. Right, left, cerebral cortex, 10 percent usage (ha), memory capacity, tens of billions of neurons, not to mention that it only weighs 3 pounds and is housed in a multi-facetted, heavy duty and extremely durable tower. They all seemed like a description for a computer but after all, isn’t that what we are? Even the latest commercial on television “I’m a PC” implies our operational preference or description. Now, we all know that they are pushing a certain type of computer system but doesn’t it make you wonder? Well, I am a PC but far more advanced and intelligent then any computer ever created. I have the ability to think and learn in mutable dimensions and to infinitely retain the knowledge that I collect to define my “experiences” with “reason.”

    We all learn at different speeds and at different levels. We collect information, examine it, process it and determine the proper storage for it. What we do with it is what counts. My opinion is…all of the above and everything else that is yet to come, whatever it takes for us to learn and evolve to our highest potential for one very complicated learning experience.

  12. We know what we know because of our experiences, senses, or in some cases instinct. Things that we as humans or any other animal need at birth, like breathing in humans, or walking with Gazelles. Those things are instinct, so they are in a different category because those are the things that any species needs to evolve. Other than those things we know what we know because we use our senses and prior experiences to reason. For example I knew how to go onto this website and post a blog because when I looked at the web site on the classroom board I looked at the words, using my senses, and then using prior experiences typing the characters on the keyboard to go to the website.
    We also know what we know through experience, like trial by error, or muscle memory. I use the example of writing. When I write something on a sheet of paper I use muscle memory to write the letters that I have written countless times before. That is how we know what we know, through experiences, reason, and above all our senses.

    Patrick H.

  13. First off, it's important to establish what learning is. Is learning to know? or to be familiar with? Learning for me is to experience and become familiar with something. Sure, you can read books and magazines and newspapers untill the end of the world, but you will never learn how to utilize this information unless you go out into the world and figure out what is right, what is wrong, what works and what doesn't. Sometimes what you have read might not be an honest reflection of reality. I mean, you can always read about how amazingly nice Zac Effron is, but you would never know how much of a jerk he is in reality unless you meet him.

    It takes experience to associate and identify correctly. Helen Keller wouldn't have learned half as many things if she couldn't associate an object with a word she was just signed. But it also takes reason to make sense of all of your experiences. We have to have some sort of intellect to understand that the word "orange" is both a color and a fruit. When we learn our first words, our parents point to themselves and say "mom" "dad". Without reason, we wouldnt be able to conclude that the breathing person with long hair is our mother and the blinking person in glasses with short hair is our father. It takes both your experiences and your reasoning to learn. It is impossible to learn things without stepping outside of the text book realm.

  14. I believe that we learn through a combination of both reason and experience. I think that certain things you are able to learn better in one way rather than another. I feel that things that occur in everyday life, you will learn better by your experiences. For example, I feel like learning the way to cope with a death in the family cannot be learned by reading a book. It is something that you will learn through experiencing it. Or to drive a car; you can read exactly how to drive a car, and be able to know exactly what to do, but exactly how to do it and being good at it, I think, takes experience.

    Then I think that other types of information are learned better through sources like books. An example of this is the history of the United States in the 1800’s. Since we live in the 2000’s, we obviously wouldn’t be able to learn the lifestyles through experiences, but by reading books about it, we can learn about it.

    I think you are able to learn in both of these ways, but we have to differentiate which way would be better suitable for certain types of information.


  15. Learning, a natural and unavoidable process, occurs without attempting at some points and quite consciously at others. The philosophers that we are currently studying all have some validity to their arguments, but I think that they also are all too extreme. I believe that learning is a combination of experience, reason, and what you are taught.

    What you are taught is the beginning of the learning process and ties in with experience. Starting from day one of life, organisms experience new sensations and situations all the time. The reactions that these organisms or people have and what occurs because of these reactions teaches them so much about natural things. If a baby touches water they learn that water is wet. If they cry and are picked up, they learn that crying equals attention.

    Once experience and teaching has caused mass amounts of learning to occur, reason kicks in. people’s sets of values and morals affect what they learn and how they process information and experiences. A member of a jury may sit and observe a trial. Depending on their experiences in the past, they will learn new information about the case with their own reasoning and deducing.

    -Henry M.

  16. I think we learn through a combination of nature and nurture. I think it is impossible for a person to be born with all of the knowledge they could possibly need to survive in this world, but I do believe that the qualities that we are born with shape how we learn and interpret the things life offers us.
    In psychology we talked about how some psychologists have theorized that people can be conditioned to become any type of person, under certain conditions. For example, Watson said he could take a baby from birth and control the variables in its life in order for it to become a successful lawyer. This is one extreme end of the spectrum, and although the child would technically be learning to do something, he is in essence being conditioned solely in the professional working area of life. People learn how to get along in the world by learning from their mistakes, and going through certain experiences that can bring either rewards or consequences.
    Although we learn many things from merely living on earth, there are also parts of us that help us learn that are innate ideas. For example, we are each born with our own unique personality and have our own individual ways of doing things. In school, some people learn better by taking notes and making flashcards, while others learn the best by just listening in class because writing things down distracts from their mental encoding.
    Everyone learns in different ways, but the common bond is formed with the idea that we all learn by using a combination of our innate ideas and our life experiences.


  17. There is no argument in saying that it is a combination of experience and reason through which we gain knowledge. We are born with innate qualities, such as abstract thinking, the ability to learn how to speak languages, etc. I think more than through reason, we learn through experience though. How is our reason formed? through experience. When we learn how to do something from another person or through our own experiences that stays in our brain and is not forgotten. I think alot of the way we as people learn is through observation. Even walking into a resteraunt, you learn how to seat yourself, or where to pay, or where the bathroom is through watching others. You could on the other hand reason that it is an expensive resteraunt so it is likely you will not seat yourself, and likely that you will pay at the table. Knowledge consists of so many different things that it is impossible to define it. Certain aspects can only be learned through reason, and others only through experience. You can practice and practice a math problem, therefore experiencing it, but if you dont understand the concept you are not really learning it. If you understand the logic of how to do the problem, you have used your reason and therefore really learn in, instead of using your memory to complete the problem.
    Another aspect i have to include is that innate knowledge , similar to Jung's collective unconscious idea is basically that we have innate reasoning through what are ancestors HAVE learned through experience. This can explain certain people's fear of certain animals such as snakes.

  18. Throughout the centuries knowledge has been prized, exaulted, forbidden, and even considered holy, as the old cliche goes; knowledge is power, and this power is one of the most valuable things a person can posess. So how do we know what we know? Are we born with the innate knowledge? Are we taught it? Or do we live through our lives gathering knowlede the same way a bucket under a leaky ceiling eventually fills to the brink. Wel there is one thing we can all be certain of, which is that the more knowlege one aquires, the more wise and worldly he or she is. However, I must ask, is all knowledge true? How do we we know that all we've been taught actually is factual? If one person disagrees with all the sceintists in the world does that mnean their wrong? Knowldge is an abstract thing, like a painting, it's viewed differently by each person. As a population, as humans, we gather oour inoformation through expierence and books, however the two are very different. For example someone who is poor and only went up to the 7th grade may no nothing about advanced calculous but may be an expert about the inner-city streets and scavenging for food. There are many different kinds of knowledge, some duriven from sceintists at a lab, about complex aspects of our atmosphere the average person has no way of knowing. Then there is a different kind of knowledge, like how to make your frind stop crying, or the best way to ask some one out on a date, or what love feels like, these things can never be taught or learned, but simply felt. There will forever be the debate between nature verse nurute, fate verse reason, books verse expierence, however like a snwflake everyone has a different imprint of the world, and a different base of knowldge. Knowledge is not just hard facts, it's expierence, and an accumulation of a perspective on the world. The morse things you know, the more your perspective grows, and develops until the day you die. For people truly do learn new things everyday, and every second on this earth is another chance to learn somthing you didn't know before, to meet that person who changes your life, to learn that fact weather true or not that inspires you. Knowledge in neither concrete nor useless, it's that special gift that although small sometimes is somthing that you know you will cherish untill the day you die, for it impacts you in a different way everytime it's used. So how we do we know what we know? Well our knowledge is ever present, in our actions, words and character.

    -Susan Imerman

  19. In my opinion, John Locke and the other empiricists were right. We learn for the most part through experience. I’m fairly certain that if you took a baby and deprived it of all sensory input it wouldn’t be able to come up with any great philosophical insights, because it wouldn’t have anything to begin with.
    On the other hand, we can sometimes learn through reason. For example, a smart student can figure out how to solve a difficult math problem, even if they’ve never seen one like it before, by reasoning through it. Even so, the student still needs some background experience to draw on, and without it would be unable to use their reason to its fullest extent.
    We can also learn by being taught by our parents and teachers. Of course, we can never be sure that they’re telling the truth, but if we accept what they say and apply it to our lives it can be just as useful as information learned through experience or reason. Yet experiencing something first-hand rather than being told about it or reading in a book is a much more powerful experience. The classical example of this is touching the stove. We don’t really understand that it’s hot until we’ve burned ourselves, no matter what our parents tell us.

  20. Upon trying to come up with an opinion for this blog, I've come to realize that thinking about knowledge is quite frustrating. First and foremost, how do we know what we know? There's the obvious: experience. We hop on a snowboard and go down the mountain; we learn how to snowboard. We go underwater for too long; we learn not to stay down for too long. Learning by experience is the most efficient way of doing something. However, learning by experience isn't always the best way to go about something. For example, you can't really learn not to dive out of an airplane with no parachute or landing gear. You mess up, you're done. Those are things people around you inform you of. For example, your parents. They tell you not to touch fire, not to go boating at night, et cetera. However, there's the tendency for parents to be wrong, and people to be misinformed about what they know. For example, if someone had racist parents, their parents could misinform them their whole lives, thus leading them to believe that they "know" incorrect information about certain races.That's a matter of being stubborn, as well. I recall a quote from the beginning of this class, something about, "if you go in with doubts, you'll come out with certainties, if you go in with certainties, you'll go out with doubts". This is entirely true: the more someone says they for certain know, the less they will be accepting to other ideas, yet whether they admit it or not, they're still considering it.

    There's also the question of instinct. It's difficult to say that people are born blank slates, when they know how to eat, for example, or how to make noise. Some thigns can't be taught, or learned, otherwise the human race, or even animals, couldn't still exist.

  21. It seems impossible to me to use reason to figure something out without using your senses. Since we always talk about horses in this class, I don’t think we could figure out if a horse was a horse without sensing it. You’d have to see it, hear it, smell it, whatever, to know it was a horse- there’s no other way around it. We can use our senses along with reason to figure something out, but I don’t think you can just use reason alone because then you have nothing to base your reasoning on. While there’s no point in using reason when you haven’t sensed anything yet, I disagree with the idea of ‘tabula rasa’ and just because there’s no point in using it, I think we still have the ability to reason. Also, I definitely believe we’ve all been here before and we come with a few lifetimes worth of background knowledge. Most people don’t consciously remember it, but it’s there somewhere in our minds. Nobody can teach you how to sense or reason with things, and it’s not like babies could learn from their parents because that would require sensing. And, now that I think about it, I’m almost positive senses are required for reasoning- the first thing a baby can do is sense. I don’t think you could reason without some kind of sensation even if you wanted to. Anything a person comes up with is based on things they’ve sensed before. Even things about ‘God’. People don’t just pop out of the womb and think there must be a god- they’ve either heard it from somewhere, or in the case of Greek culture (and a whole mess of others), they create this idea to explain things they have sensed, like the sun rising.

  22. I believe that we do not know much about what we think we know. In my personal opinion, people have gotten their answers from experience. They have used reason to find answers to the simple things and life and the much more difficult ones. We expect the answers are right under our very nose. Sometimes this ends up being true. Through one’s effort, the truth and their reason can be discovered. I believe that humans do not know what we think we know. I believe that people know what they perceive as reality and have little explanation for it. It is very odd because I am one who never expects the first thing I see to be the real thing. The saying “don’t Judge a book by its Cover” is very true because there is more than meets the eye to many things. People cannot ever look at someone and be sure they know everything about them. People know what they know through personal experience and the effort of getting to know what they are trying to discover. One must use effort for anything they desire to have. In this case it is knowledge. Those who do not seek the truth are doomed to wallow in a lie.


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