There is no doubt whatever that all our cognition begins with experience; for how else should the cognitive faculty be awakened in exercise if not through objects that stimulate our senses and in part themselves produce representations, in part bring the activity of our understanding into motion to compare these, to connect or separate them, and thus to work up the raw material of sensible impressions into a cognition of objects that is called experience? As far as time is concerned, then, no cognition in us precedes experience, and with experience every cognition begins.
– Immanuel Kant: ‘The Critique of Pure Reason’
See also, Robert M. Coates: ‘The Art Galleries: Creeping Representationalism‘, The New Yorker 36, no. 8, 9 April 1960.