The role of sensory perception in concept formation

If a man were born with no senses, would he have a thought? If so, where would it come from?

A highly skilled neurosurgeon.

it would come from synthetic a priori knowlege.

no, it would be analytic a posterori Knowledge…


Since it can not be proved that the mind has any content at birth, we must assume that the tabula rasa theory is correct.

How so with no ability to sense experiences?

they must be synthetically synthesized analytical evidences precipitously perceived posthumously…


Man wouldn’t need to think, because thinking is just decision making, and decision making requires data, and unless you have senses, you don’t have any data.

This is more-or-less the same question as whether a mind can exist without a body.

I would argue no. I’m with TheZeus on this one.

My views have been discussed a little more in depth in this thread but I’m sure I could drag up some other threads that go deeper. Or write a real post, but I’m feeling lazy.

I agree, except that more fundamentally than the fact that he wouldn’t need to think, is that he wouldn’t be able to think. After all, what would he think about?

You’re right, It is more or less the same question, except that it establishes the fact that the sense provide the content of man’s mind.

Though I would disagree with extrapolating a tabula rasa worldview from this, because it isn’t merely a matter of perception, but also how we perceive our perceptions.

Much of that can, and often is, influenced by non-experiential factors. It isn’t a binary situation.

For example, I am colorblind. While the distinction between red and green is trivial in my worldview, an artist would find such a trivialization appalling!

I think it is reasonable to assume that many other factors are similarly influenced.

The brain is, after all, an electrochemical thing. Subtle mutations in the structure of neurotransmitters, the number of voltage gates present, the concentration of signaling molecules, the affinity of receptors for those signaling molecules, ect. All of those are controlled by genetic elements.

So discounting that aspect would be naive.

I agree that those are functions of the mind, but they do not make up its content; it does not constitute knowledge.

Ahhh, but how does one have knowledge independent of those things?

If knowledge is dependent on them, than it follows that now only how we get our knowledge but also our interpretation of it is bound to be profoundly affected by our endowment.

After all, we are all most likely to ‘follow our bliss’, which means nothing more than which pieces of knowledge that we integrate into our everyday understanding of our reality is linked to reality as we already understand it, as we ‘like’ it, if you will.

I expect that he would still have thoughts and feelings. The unconscious could still create a dreamscape - it just wouldn’t be much like reality though, I guess.

More important is that he wouldn’t need to think, because, after all, it is the need to think that drives the creation of the necessary organs.

The “unconscious?” Can such a thing actually be considered to exist?

Impious seems to consider it to. Are you saying he does not?

The Self is the unconscious.

To be honest, your experience of thought must be very limited if you have never found it.

Tell me: have you never felt drawn to think or feel this way or that? Have you never felt less than totally in control of your bahavior and the movements of your mind? Have you never made or experienced someone else make a ‘Freudian slip’?

‘Feelin’ like posessed by a hellion, I’m the wickedest skellion,
A prominant sign that my soul’s in rebellion.’

What you are describing is the subconscious mind. The only example I have seen of an unconscious mind is a dead man.