Current science shows that we possess innate elementary sensations, emotions and cognitive function. Some 300 years ago John Locke introduced a theory of knowledge based on the denial of this fact, concluding that the mind of the newborn is like a blank slate (tabula rasa). This factually false tabula rasa assumption underlies theories of knowledge to this day.
It is now necessary to replace the tabula rasa assumption by its direct opposite and make explicit the epistemological and normative implications of such reconstruction. It would be the most fundamental advance in knowledge since the tabula rasa was introduced some 300 years ago.
Consider consciousness. It is the central fact of personal existence. Present-day theories of knowledge are unable to explain what consciousness is and what it does. Presented below is an abbreviated proof that non-physical consciousness exists. To my knowledge it is the first to do so.
The physical is said to be publicly observable. In contrast, vision, and other sensory modalities of exteroception by which the physical world outside our skin is observed are subjective, private, phenomenal or mental. Thus, the physical is inferred from the mental. This conclusion confers epistemological priority on the mental relative to the physical.
For these reasons, the mental cannot be inferred from, or reduced to the physical. Put differently, the physical brain elicits – not produce – phenomenal states.