I have a random question about A Priori knowledge. As far as I understand it A Priori means knowledge that is gained without the use of information gleaned through the senses. Language, and thereby our ability to mentally use language to organize our thoughts in our minds, is learned throught our senses. The whole idea of language as a means to organize thougths is gained through our senses. This is partially seen in the fact that infants don't seem to have much organized thought; even medically speaking their brain's acitivity is dissimilar to an adult's awake/alert/thinking brain. If all this is true, can a person use language to come to A Priori knowledge? And is it possible to have organized thoughts without thinking in terms of the sense? In my mind I can think with language, I can imagine physical sensatioins, I can visualize pictures, I can recall smells and tastes, but what else? I can feel emotions; but what knowledge can I attain... :confused:
So, the real question is: do humans have any kind of a priori knowledge as of birth. The answer to that is yes. We do have a priori knowledge of the concepts of space and time. This knowledge is needed to structure the information gathered by our senses. Perhaps it is best to check out Immanuel Kant's work. We have a topic on him, right here.
Take the example of the statement, All Bachelors are unmarried males. It is true that we learn the concepts of bachelor, and unmarried males, via the senses. But, once we have learned these concepts (understand what they mean) we know, a priori that all bachelors are unmarried males.
Consciousness has many tools (senses) to help our individualized mind conceptualize the environment it is in.
I guess when I read what you wrote below, this sentence came to me as away of agreeing with you, in short form. Mind needing the senses ether fake or not, to be conceptualized by consciousness so mind can think.
I was reading up on that topic a bit, and hopefully I'll keep learning.
About our understanding space and time: I would have thought that we come to understand space and time through our experience of them in the physical universe. A newborn does not have a good understanding of space or time as far as I know.
I've heard one of the reasons infants freak out when their mom leaves their field of vision is that they don't realise that the mom still exists, which would seem like a very incomplete idea of space, which is grown out of as the child gains in experience. I don't have any good examples, but young children also seem to me to have limited understanding of time as well. Am I wrong? :confused: