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Are we born with knowledge? Essay

Are we born with knowledge? Of course we are. In this speech, I am going to argue about how ability is knowledge and what knowledge we have when we were younger. As a child, we have been brought up by our environment and culture.

Without this, what knowledge would we have? Let’s say, the minute a child is born, and you throw this new born baby into a “swimming pool” or “water” it will immediately be able to swim or float. Now the question is, where did this baby get the knowledge of being able to swim from? They were born with it. Many people would disagree with the fact that babies are born with knowledge. For example, David Hume suggests that we are born with a ‘Tabula Rasa’ a blank slate.

That we have no knowledge at all, and that we need to experience things and have ideas of these things to gain knowledge. However, the reason we ARE born with knowledge is so that we can have a starting point in life. Our baby knowledge is a foundation for us to build and gain knowledge on. An example of this would be, when we are young we have the privilege of being able to eat and sleep or anything else related. As Hume said, if we were born with ‘blank slate’, then we would not even be able to do these simple things. Also, we are born with many abilities to do many things.

Such as “swimming” when we are younger, it is an ability we have. However, when the time comes and we start to learn how to ‘swim’ we lose this natural ability of being able to swim. Many people would argue that ability ISN’T knowledge. Yet, if ability means we are able to do something, then we must be able to KNOW how to do it. This means that ability is KNOWledge.

Furthermore, it is clear that we ARE born with knowledge, and that even if our knowledge has changed over the years, it has been growing since then. This proves that when we were born, we all started off with a basic foundation of knowledge, and are able to develop that knowledge as we grow older.


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