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Steve_A's avatar

Is everything we know been taught or learned?

Asked by Steve_A (5125points) March 12th, 2010

If no one taught us any of the things we know today then is it true, we only know what we have learned or been taught?

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28 Answers

BabylonFree's avatar

it’s half & half, get most things from your own home but mostly also things that you set your heart on in your later years when you part your nest.

Just_Justine's avatar

Not really because hopefully from what we have learned we create new premises based on prior learning. That is if we have cognitive capacity.

Steve_A's avatar

@BabylonFree Things from home are things that you learn or understand then…..isn’t it?

Steve_A's avatar

@Just_Justine But at what point did we first learn?

Just_Justine's avatar

@Steve_A oh sorry I misread your question. I guess we’ muddle along grunting and groaning dragging people around by the hair. We’d more or less copy those around us, much like we do anyway.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Of course. How else can we absorb information? We aren’t born knowledgeable.

dpworkin's avatar

That depends on whether or not you subscribe to the idea of structuralism. Chomsky was a good example of a structuralist.He posited, among other things, that we have an a priori language acquisition apparatus at birth.

I see no reason why a hundred million years or so of evolution wouldn’t have endowed us with some amount of a priori knowledge.

phoebusg's avatar

Any mixture of both can be true. It’s not the same from everyone. Most people have a tendency to listen to authority – which leads them to being taught more – than direct observation/questioning. But there’s the ones who learn just as much by observing the world. Yet not devoid of being taught. You can’t just have one or the other.

Without the insane amount of information passed down through the collective knowledge, we’d have to re-invent everything. Not having to re-invent everything leaves us with the freedom of A)Improving what we thought we knew (re-evaluation) or B) extending our knowledge.

That is until some crazy mofo destroys all knowledge and mediators thereof (cough, roman empire, cough) – in which case you end up with a dark ages scenario. Where only few – save books hidden from public eyes. But people still figure things out, it just takes time. Though considering that – the moores in spain helped bring about Renaissance by reconnecting Europe to lost knowledge….

And the story continues. Hope the above will help in your search.

Steve_A's avatar

@dpworkin I have never heard of that before but it is saying that we are born with some kind of communication skills or knowledge in our brains from evolution?

dpworkin's avatar

@Steve_A Exactamundo. Who teaches the birdies how to migrate, after all?

Coloma's avatar

All of our values, morals, sexual beliefs, (modesty, monogamy etc. ) religious orientation, societal expectations are ALL conditioned beliefs, behaviors.

If I taught my daughter to call a chair a ‘dog’ when she was two..ultimately she would have discovered that what she thought of as a ‘dog’ was what others called a chair. An epiphany for her! lololol

In my recent travels to Southeast Asia I would find myself calling dogs and cats by the english version like ’ here kitty, kitty’....the animals just looked at me like I was from another planet! lololol

I alway’s say that learning is EASY, it is the UNLEARNING that takes time to untangle! haha

Steve_A's avatar

@dpworkin I thought things like that are considered instinct? But I guess it is becoming instinct for us?

dpworkin's avatar

Well Chomsky’s LAD wasn’t exactly meant to be instinctual, it was more like an embedded matrix of generative grammar that the baby has access to right away, so that words of language must be learned, but the deep structures of grammar are already in our brains.

Steve_A's avatar

@dpworkin So there is a part of the brain that is “tapped” or started when we try and communicate?

dpworkin's avatar

Umm, yeah. It’s a transcultural phenomenon that infants acquire language in a specific way. The language is different, but in Chomsky’s view, anyway, the deep grammatical structure doesn’t need to be taught.

filmfann's avatar

No one ever taught me that it will hurt if I nail my dick to a coffee table, but I believe it will.
Never taught, never learned, but I still know it.

monocle's avatar

Both, no?

Steve_A's avatar

@filmfann I think you had to learn something prior to understand that doing that would hurt.

Steve_A's avatar

@monocle Well I guess someone had to learn it first then teach it….

davidbetterman's avatar

Perhaps for those who haven’t learned to think for themselves. Some of us can reason and create without aid of the ideas of others.

YARNLADY's avatar

Instinctual, all the autonomous actions such as the sucking action, breathing, heart beat, and many muscle reactions; ie draw away from heat, escape from perceived danger (even a baby doesn’t like to be help upside down). Taught, value judgements, speaking, walking upright, wearing clothes.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@YARNLADY Instincts are largely handled by reflex centres and other portions of the unconscious mind. Do we have to be conscious of something to ‘know’ it? Do we have to know that we know it? I’m not sure you can make a distinctive boundary of what we know.

YARNLADY's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh Yes, I agree with your boundary theory.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Some things we ain’t so well been taught or learned yet I guess.

Coloma's avatar

I am suprised that your brains have not dissolved and dribbled out your noses by now. lolololol

phillis's avatar

Instincts aren’t taught or learned.

dpworkin's avatar

@YARNLADY Wearing clothes? Really? Ahahahahahahaha!

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