“That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt…
But, though all our knowledge begins with experience, it by no means follows that all arises out of experience. For, on the contrary, it is quite possible that our empirical knowledge is a compound of that which we receive through impressions, and that which the faculty of cognition supplies from itself… an addition which we cannot distinguish from the original element given by sense, till long practice has made us attentive to, and skilful in separating it.”
The Critique of Pure Reason
Translator: J. M. D. Meiklejohn
Rationalism versus Empiricism.
An enormous debate in the history of ideas,
and in the question of Free Will
Far beyond the scope of this site.
But the basic question
What is figured out by self,
What does experience figure out itself for the self
How much seems under control of choice
How often does the choice seem given, seem inevitable.
What experiences long forgotten have already had their way
What unconscious can be not unconscious
Where then is found, all of self.