Axiomatic concepts identify explicitly what is merely implicit in the
consciousness of an infant or of an animal. (Implicit knowledge is passively
held material which, to be grasped, requires a special focus and process of
consciousness—a process which an infant learns to perform eventually, but
which an animal’s consciousness is unable to perform.)
Man grasps [the concept of “existent”] implicitly on the perceptual
level—i.e., he grasps the constituents of the concept “existent,” the data
which are later to be integrated by that concept. It is this implicit knowledge
that permits his consciousness to develop further.
That which is merely implicit is not in men’s conscious control; they can lose
it by means of other implications, without knowing what it is that they are
losing or when or why.