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(1) It is impossible that all the knowledge a man has acquired should be at once present in consciousness.
The greater part, in fact all of it with the exception of the few thoughts actually present in the mind, is stored up in the form of latent dispositions which enable the mind to recall it when wanted.
Knowledge, being a primitive fact of consciousness, cannot, strictly speaking, be defined; but the direct and spontaneous consciousness of knowing may be made clearer by pointing out its essential and distinctive characteristics.
It will be useful first to consider briefly the current uses of the verb "to know".
A science is known when its principles, methods, and conclusions are understood, and the various facts and laws referring to it co-ordinated and explained.
These various meanings may be reduced to two classes, one referring chiefly to sense-knowledge and to the recognition of particular experiences, the other referring chiefly to the understanding of general laws and principles.
He may then be under the irresistible illusion that he knows, and subjectively the process is the same as that of knowledge; but an essential condition is lacking, namely, conformity of thought with reality, so that there we have only the appearance of knowledge.of any thing, fact, or principle belonging to the physical, mental, or metaphysical order, that may in any manner be reached by cognitive faculties.An event, a material substance, a man, a geometrical theorem, a mental process, the immortality of the soul, the existence and nature of God, may be so many objects of knowledge.Thus knowledge implies the antithesis of a knowing subject and a known object.It always possesses an objective character and any process that may be conceived as merely subjective is not a cognitive process.
A few judgments are reached immediately, but by far the greater number require patient investigation.