tabula rasa

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tabula rasa


Tabula Rasa


(Latin, “smoothed tablet” or “clean slate”), a term used in sensationalism to describe the mind in its primary blank state, that is, before it has acquired any knowledge through external sensory experience—as, for example, the mind of a newborn infant. The notion of tabula rasa appears in Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, as well as in later philosophers, such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, who developed it from a theological standpoint. T. Hobbes and P. Gassendi compared the mind to a slate on which experience leaves its marks. The term came into wide use after J. Locke, who adopted it in his critique of the theory of innate ideas (see Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding).

References in periodicals archive ?
One of Davidson's complaints about Pinker notes his "reductive invocations of the Blank Slate and Noble Savage.
It has created as close to a blank slate as we get in human affairs, and has given us a chance to rebuild a city that wasn't working.
We're starting from a blank slate here," says Brooks, echoing a common belief that the U.
Beecher's also produces their version of French fromage blanc they call Blank Slate (in Plain, Honey, Dill and Chive, and Tapenade), fresh curds, and cultured butter.
Second stem cells can multiply many times--some can multiply indefinitely--making progeny that retain this blank slate property or that adopt a cell type in the appropriate circumstances.
The truth of this statement is not in doubt, but the trend is not necessarily a healthy one for it leaves a blank slate where a memory should have been.
They are starting not from an entirely blank slate.
The beauty of the loft is its flexibility and simplicity, presenting a blank slate for a multitude of uses and interior design approaches.
Steven Pinker in his magnificent new book, The Blank Slate, looks at those and dozens of other issues from the perspective of evolutionary biology and psychology.
The first is the notion of the tabula rasa, or the Blank Slate.
This is a book for every manager trying to plan a project with a blank slate or under an organization's cloudy vision.