The Idea of Tabula Rasa

The Idea of Tabula Rasa

The idea of Tabula Rasa has always intrigued me.


Tabula rasa  refers to the epistemological idea that individuals are born without built-in mental material and that therefore all learning comes from experience or perception. Defenders of tabula rasa generally disagree with the doctrine of innatism which holds that the intellect is born already in possession of certain types of knowledge. Generally, partisans of the tabula rasa theory also favor the “nurture” place of the nature versus encourage debate when it comes to aspects of one’s personality, social and psychological behavior, lore and sapience.


This has been beneficial in my journey to a “Bug-Free Mind” by giving me a deeper perspective into my own mind. The one I was originally given before my upbringing and life experiences started downloading viruses and bugs.


In Western ideology, principles of tabula rasa can be traced back to the documents of Aristotle who writes in his essay” Peri Psukhes” (< em> De Anima or On the Soul ) of the” unscribed tablet .” In one of the more well-known passageways of this pamphlet he writes that :

Haven’t we already disposed of the difficulty about interaction involving a common component, when we said that mind is in a sense potentially whatever is thinkable, though actually it is nothing until it has thought? What it foresees must be in it just as people may be said to be on a writing-tablet on which thus far nothing holds written: this is exactly what happens with mind.


This idea was further developed in Ancient Greek philosophy by the Stoic school. Stoic epistemology have emphasized that the recollection starts blank, but acquires knowledge as the outside life is amazed upon it.The doxographer Aetius summarizes this view as” When a man is born, the Stoics say, he has the dominant part of his soul like a sheet of paper ready for writing upon. Diogenes Laertius attributes a same belief to the Stoic Zeno of Citium where reference is writes in Lives and Rulings of Eminent Philosophers that :

Perception, again, is an impression produced on the mind, its mention were properly acquired from notions on wax made by a seal; and feeling they part into, comprehensible and incomprehensible: Intelligible, which they call the criterion of realities, and which is produced by a real objective, and is, therefore, at the same meter conformable to that object; Incomprehensible, which has no relation to any real object, or else, if it has any such relation, does not correspond to it, being but a unclear and ambiguous representation.


Philosophers have been arguing that babies are born with memories that are essentially blank slates since the working day of Aristotle.( Later, some psychologists took up the speciman as well .) English talkers have called that initial position of mental blankness tabula rasa ( a call taken away from a Latin term that carries as” smooth or erased tablet “) since the 16 th century, but it wasn’t until British philosopher John Locke championed the concept in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1690 that the expression gained prevalent esteem in our communication. In later years, a figurative sense of the word developed, referring to something that exists in its original territory and that has yet to be altered by outside forces.


A brand-new and progressive emphasis on the tabula rasa followed sometime in the 17 th century, when the English empiricist John Locke, in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding ( 1689 ), quarrelled for the mind’s initial resemblance to” white paper, void of all reputations ,” with” all the fabrics of rationale and acquaintance” derived from experience. Locke did not trust, however, that the memory is literally blank or empty prior to experience, and almost no other empiricist has made such an extreme importance. Locke himself affirmed an innate supremacy of “reflection”( awareness of one’s own meanings, excitements, ardours, and so on) as an instrument of employing the materials were presented by event as well as a limited realm of a priori ( non-experiential) knowledge, which he nonetheless regarded as “trifling” and essentially empty of the information contained( e.g .,” spirit is person” and” every man is an animal “). The 18 th-century Scottish empiricist David Hume supported similar notions. Suitably qualified notions of the tabula rasa remained influential in British and subsequently Anglo-American( analytic) philosophy through the mid -20 th century.


To learn more about a “Bug-Free Mind”, The Saltori System and how to use it, I have provided links to the right of your screen…


“Just Go!” Don’t Stop.

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Jerry Burns
Jerry Burns
5 years ago

Hey, thanks for your post. I appreciate you takng the time and breaking it all down for us. This is great.

This is a great article.I apprectiate you writing this up. I am not sure how I got to your website, but I really enjoyed the read.

Again, thanks for this article. Thanks for building thisnwebsite and investing your time. It’s a great site.

5 years ago

I must admit I had never heard of Tabula Rasa. This post is beautifully written, and certainly gets one thinking about things.
It is always fascinating to learn or even just delve into stuff like this a bit deeper, and something we should all be thinking on.
I will return to your posts for more enjoyable reading.

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