FBI on Einstein

Gordon Fitch gcf at panix.com
Thu Sep 7 08:11:47 PDT 2000

Lisa & Ian Murray:
> Well, unless you are a Millean about math and logic, we don't know
> mathematical and logical truths through experience. And if you
> think there
> are a priori philosophical truths, such as that time, space, abd
> causality
> are necessaty conditions of knowledge, or every effect has a
> cause, then you
> might think these are derived from nonempirical sources. --jks
> =======
> I'm not a Millian, but this make no sense, because I cannot make sense of
> non-experience. And no one has yet shown what a non-experience is. Do we
> know english, russian etc. through non-experience too or is math more like
> them than we care to admit and we deny it because a bunch of DWM's told us
> so before they and we knew s**t about the brain? Please don't tell me you
> hang out with Roger Penrose :-) Try Gerald Edelman instead....

You're supposed to be _just_born_ knowing certain things. I don't think this is such an outlandish idea. For instance, it could be the case that there is a knowledge X without which no complex living being is likely to survive. The process of natural selection would filter strongly for such beings so that before long their genes would specify X as a starting state for their nervous systems. They would "just know" X as a result of evolution. Noam Chomsky's theory about an innate language capability could be an example of this kind of knowledge. Mathematics, or some of mathematics, could be another. Many mathematicians seem to experience mathematics in this way -- it's _already_there_ -- not in the experience of the being, but in the being itself.

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