If knowledge is entirely self-constructed, self-normed or self-given, how is it that the human person experiences such things as surprise, fear, annoyance, compulsion, error and ignorance?

By self-construction I mean it is the person's (or persons') activity that creates its own knowledge; in short, the whole gist of human self-legislation that is found in any idealist thinker. If there is an element of receptivity, as of the individual receiving input from society, then I contend that this violates true self-legislation, and opens up the door for other receptivity (why limit legislation simply to other people, aka society, when our experience informs us of other things?).

While we can be surprised by our own creations they bear a sense of familiarity that the idealist would be hard pressed to compare in the same light to genuine surprise. That is, to me at least, why we consider some things as our own creation while not considering other things to be our own creation. There are countless other phenomena that the idealist seems in a tight spot to account for (including compulsion, annoyance, anger, contrariety, disagreement, humility, etc.).

Don't all of these phenomenological experiences, which include a sense of becoming and change that is not capable of being brought out solely by what is already known or given by the self, indicate that the human person has interactions with a reality that is not yet known but capable of being known?

How else can a genuine change from ignorance to knowledge be possible if there isn't the introduction of something new that subsists outside the knowledge that currently exists? The change from ignorance to knowledge requires not only the production of new knowledge but the normative and proper circumstances under which such new knowledge is produced. The only circumstances that the idealist contends can influence human knowledge is that which is already immanent and implicitly present in the human person. That is, if I'm not mistaken, the whole gist of self-legislation.

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    Could you give references to those who believe that knowledge is "entirely self-constructed"? A usual position in postmodernism is that knowledge is socially constructed, and knowledge of an individual is not the same as of society as a whole. But even if knowledge were constructed individually it does not mean that it is already "given", new knowledge is presumably created all the time (without it pre-subsisting somewhere), and we can certainly be surprised by our creations. – Conifold Apr 18 '17 at 19:32
  • Please edit your post to include more information, instead of writing it in comments. Keeping the comment space tidy helps future readers to find information quickly. – Keelan Apr 19 '17 at 19:48
  • I am not sure the experiences you describe are phenomenological as opposed to merely psychological, and I doubt that epistemological conclusions can be drawn from psychology of surprise. Math SE has a long thread Which one result in mathematics has surprised you the most?, and arguably, new mathematical theorems are a genuine change from ignorance to knowledge (as reactions to Wiles' proof of FLT indicate). And yet, they are logical consequences of the axioms we ourselves laid down. – Conifold Apr 20 '17 at 19:32
  • @Conifold I agree that changes from ignorance to knowledge can occur as a result of self-action, in a regulated sense (our syllogistic ability being one such example). But I think this misses the thrust of the argument. The point isn't that self-actuation of knowledge is impossible. It is that there is a sense of ignorance that isn't sufficiently captured if all knowledge is self-legislated. This sense is precisely the same sense found in error. The idealist makes 'error' and 'ignorance' concepts that we cannot error or be in ignorance about, since genuine error and ignorance require not – Manwe Elder Apr 20 '17 at 21:55

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