30 March 2012

QuickThought no. 2

The Kantian synthesis, as it is often called in philosophy, is Immanuel Kant's unification of reason (epistemological Rationalism) and experience (epistemological Empiricism) in terms of how the creation and development of knowledge is possible. Similarly, in her book The Origin of Concepts, Harvard professor of psychology Susan Carey argues that concept acquisition relies on (1) innate cognitive input analyzers that have resulted from the evolution of the human species, thus outputting unlearned concepts, and (2) perceptual and sensory information used to form concepts via experience.

In this QuickThought I want to highlight the important distinction between 'knowledge' (or 'concept', to Carey) and 'belief'. It is a distinction that Carey makes in her book, and it is one that has been carefully noted by others, including Richard Dawkins and Kant himself:

"I had therefore to remove knowledge, in order to make room for belief." (Immanuel Kant)

Think about that.

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