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The Philosopher


We got Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, Right here in the USA, It starts with “W” and that stands for “White Slate” Ver. 1.0.0

The Philosopher


“White Slate” is a term Philosophers us to differentiate between “Learned Knowledge” and “Innate Knowledge”. Some Philosophers, including this one, think that we do not enter into this world as a baby with a “White Slate” that is without ‘Innate Knowledge”, but in fact inherited knowledge and skills from our parents and ancestors. This phenomenon is easily seen in “Man’s Best Friend” the Canines.

My old Canine, an Australian Shepard showed definite “Innate Knowledge”. Once when I let him off the leash in the “Dog Park”, I send him after some loose Canines and he would chase them down and nip at their heals to bring them back to their owner. On one occasion when we were going down a country road we came upon a “Jogger” he went after the “Jogger’s” heals to herd him in. On a backcountry skiing trip in the nearby mountains we stopped for lunch and sat upon a log the wind was quite strong. This Australian Shepard Canine dug out a burrow in the snow and lay down in the burrow below the wind! This Canine had never been taught to herd or burrow in his entire life on this planet, this knowledge had to be “Innate Knowledge”. This phenomenon is also apparent in the Homo Sapiens. Old saws like “The chips don’t fall to far from the stump”, “Like father, like son”. Many public figures can be observed following their parents footsteps in a profession, actors, performers, even presidents of the USA.

This Philosopher was born into and raised in what would be called a “Privileged Home” that is my parents were both very matured, college educated and very knowledgeable on many subjects. Therefore, the “Innate Knowledge” that this Philosopher received would be greatly different from those who were the children of more modest parents. When the class that I had been with since first grade reached high school, My high school classmates noticed this, when we got into math and science subjects, as this Philosopher soared from, until then, the bottom of the class to the top of the class in math and science. Some of my classmates did not approve of me upsetting the class hierarchy and the teacher said “I have seen this before, let him go”. This pheromone can only be described as “Innate Skills” in that one inherits “Skills” in certain areas from their parents and possible ancestors.

Putting “Innate Knowledge” aside and focusing on the “Environmental Knowledge”, which one obtains from their family of origin on a daily basis, we can easily find examples of the “Family Environment” having a great influence on the knowledge and character of one growing up in a “Family of Privilege”.

This Philosopher had thirty years of service with a University of California’s, managed national laboratory. Thus this laboratory was very “Degree Driven”. That is the higher or more degrees one had acquired the more credibility one had to contribute to a group. As this Philosopher , with a mere Bachelor degree, experience interacting with other Scientist and Engineers, with advanced degrees, at this national laboratory, he noticed an instant comradery with others who had come from “Families of Privilege” and instant conflict with some who earned their degrees by hard work and study and came from “Families of Modest Means”. Presumably those who had to get all their knowledge from hard work and study rejected the idea that there is “Innate Knowledge” that they cannot obtain by hard work and study. This Philosopher thinks they need to realize they can give their children and grandchildren “Innate Knowledge” that they have gained for themselves. To quote an old saw “Accept the cards that are dealt and make the most of the hand that has been dealt” and pass the knowledge that was gained down to the next generation. Another way of putting it would be “Get your education before you have children and you will increase both the “Innate Knowledge” and the “Environmental Knowledge” of the descendants”.

These same phenomena are taking place in a “Church Study Group” where the class leaders, and several of the members, have advanced (PhD’s in some subject), some came from “Families of Privilege” and some from “Families of Modest Means”. The same Comradery and Conflict with the two different personalities exists in this group as well.

This Philosopher recently viewed a program on PBS “The Roosevelt’s”. One can certainly see both the effects of “Innate Knowledge” and “Environmental Knowledge” in the lives of “The Roosevelt’s” both Theodor and Franklin Roosevelt and their wives, especially Eleanor, definitely exhibited skills, knowledge and ability that can be attributed to their “Families of Privilege” origins.
Although “Innate Knowledge” and “Environmental Knowledge” can only be obtained by being born into some circumstance and brought up in some environment. The phenomenon of having all of ones needs met, basic, social, purpose, intellectual etc., can be obtained in a couple of different ways. “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” can be viewed as a “Pyramid” (Maslow’s Pyramid) with the basic needs, food, clothing and shelter at the base, personal relationships social and life purpose in the middle section and fully actualized at the peak. Those at the top of “Maslow’s Pyramid” will be concerned about “Serving Mankind” and those at the bottom and middle of “Maslow’s Pyramid” will be concerned about “Serving Self”.

Being fully actualized at the top of the Pyramid can be obtained by: First, being born into a “Family of Privilege” as were the Kennedys’ and Roosevelts’. John F. Kennedy said “Ask not what you can do for yourself; ask what you can do for your country” This was easy for JFK to say, he was brought up in a family at the top on “Maslow’s Pyramid”, JFK’s whole family was concerned about “Country”, because all their basic needs in life were already fulfilled. The presidents, from the Roosevelt family, were similar to JFK’s family as both were at the top of “Maslow’s Pyramid” and both were concerned about “Serving Mankind”.

Second, one can be financially successful and earn their way to the top of “Maslow’s Pyramid” and have all of their needs met and can turn from being concerned about “Serving Self” and being concerned of “Serving Mankind”.

Third, one can adopt an Ideology or be born into a family with an Idealism that has all of their needs in life met with their Ideology. In this case both “Innate Knowledge” and “Environmental Knowledge” are obtained from their family of origin and/or Ideology community. In most cases these individuals will be more concerned about “Serving Mankind” than “Serving Self”. For example the Christian Religion teaches that they have a Father in heaven that will give them everything they need to live on this planet, to trust in this Father for all their needs and ask this Father for what they need.


To be continued: