Tabula rasa

blank slatetabulae rasaeblank tabletclean slatetabula rasa hypothesisblank slate viewblank slatesblank stateblank-slatechildlike
Tabula rasa ( "blank slate") is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.wikipedia
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Innatism

innate ideasinnate ideainnate knowledge
Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge.
Innatism is a philosophical and epistemological doctrine that holds that the mind is born with ideas/knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not a "blank slate" at birth, as early empiricists such as John Locke claimed.

Nature versus nurture

nature and nurturenurturenature vs. nurture
Generally, proponents of the tabula rasa theory also favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate when it comes to aspects of one's personality, social and emotional behaviour, knowledge and sapience.
The view that humans acquire all or almost all their behavioral traits from "nurture" was termed tabula rasa ("blank slate") by John Locke in 1690.

Epistemology

epistemologicalepistemictheory of knowledge
Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge.
"Only small parts of the brain resemble a tabula rasa; this is true even for human beings. The remainder is more like an exposed negative waiting to be dipped into a developer fluid".

Early Islamic philosophy

philosopherphilosophyearly Muslim philosophy
In the twelfth century, the Andalusian-Islamic philosopher and novelist, Ibn Tufail, known as "Abubacer" or "Ebn Tophail" in the West, demonstrated the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment through his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child "from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society" on a desert island, through experience alone.
Some of the significant achievements of early Muslim philosophers included the development of a strict science of citation, the isnad or "backing"; the development of a method of open inquiry to disprove claims, the ijtihad, which could be generally applied to many types of questions (although which to apply it to is an ethical question); the willingness to both accept and challenge authority within the same process; recognition that science and philosophy are both subordinate to morality, and that moral choices should be made prior to any investigation or concern with either; the separation of theology (kalam) and law (shariah) during the early Abbasid period, a precursor to secularism; the distinction between religion and philosophy, marking the beginning of secular thought; the beginning of a peer review process; early ideas on evolution; the beginnings of the scientific method, an important contribution to the philosophy of science; the introduction of temporal modal logic and inductive logic; the beginning of social philosophy, including the formulation of theories on social cohesion and social conflict; the beginning of the philosophy of history; the development of the philosophical novel and the concepts of empiricism and tabula rasa; and distinguishing between essence and existence.

John Locke

LockeLockeanJ Locke
The Latin translation of his philosophical novel, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, published by Edward Pococke the Younger in 1671, had an influence on John Locke's formulation of tabula rasa in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
He postulated that, at birth, the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa.

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingEssay on Human UnderstandingAn Essay on Human Understanding
The Latin translation of his philosophical novel, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, published by Edward Pococke the Younger in 1671, had an influence on John Locke's formulation of tabula rasa in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate (tabula rasa, although he did not use those actual words) filled later through experience.

Ibn Tufail

Ibn TufaylAbubacerAbu Bakr ibn Al-Tufail
In the twelfth century, the Andalusian-Islamic philosopher and novelist, Ibn Tufail, known as "Abubacer" or "Ebn Tophail" in the West, demonstrated the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment through his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child "from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society" on a desert island, through experience alone.
The novel also inspired the concept of "tabula rasa" developed in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) by John Locke, who was a student of Pococke.

Socialization

socialisationsocializingsocialized
This observed behaviour cannot be attributed to any current form of socialization or social construction.
Socialization provides only a partial explanation for human beliefs and behaviors, maintaining that agents are not blank slates predetermined by their environment; scientific research provides evidence that people are shaped by both social influences and genes.

Steven Pinker

Pinker, StevenPinkerNancy Etcoff
For example, psychologist Steven Pinker showed that—in contrast to written language—the brain is "programmed" to pick up spoken language spontaneously.
This doctrine (the tabula rasa), writes West, remained accepted "as fact, rather than fantasy" a decade after the book's publication.

On the Soul

De Animapsuchēagent intellect
In Western philosophy, the concept of tabula rasa can be traced back to the writings of Aristotle who writes in his treatise "Περί Ψυχῆς" (De Anima or On the Soul) of the "unscribed tablet."
The possible intellect is an "unscribed tablet" and the store-house of all concepts, i.e. universal ideas like "triangle", "tree", "man", "red", etc. When the mind wishes to think, the agent intellect recalls these ideas from the possible intellect and combines them to form thoughts.

Veil of ignorance

didn’t know in advance who we’d beinterchangeability of perspectiveVeil of ignorance (philosophy)

Pu (Taoism)

Mind

mentalhuman mindmental content
Tabula rasa ( "blank slate") is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.

Experience

experiencesexperiencedexperiential
In the twelfth century, the Andalusian-Islamic philosopher and novelist, Ibn Tufail, known as "Abubacer" or "Ebn Tophail" in the West, demonstrated the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment through his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child "from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society" on a desert island, through experience alone. Tabula rasa ( "blank slate") is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.

Perception

perceptualsensorysensory perception
Tabula rasa ( "blank slate") is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception.

Wisdom

sapientsapiencewise
Generally, proponents of the tabula rasa theory also favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate when it comes to aspects of one's personality, social and emotional behaviour, knowledge and sapience.

English language

EnglishEnglish-languageen
Tabula rasa is a Latin phrase often translated as "clean slate" in English and originates from the Roman tabula used for notes, which was blanked by heating the wax and then smoothing it.

Roman Empire

RomanRomansEmpire
Tabula rasa is a Latin phrase often translated as "clean slate" in English and originates from the Roman tabula used for notes, which was blanked by heating the wax and then smoothing it.

Slate (writing)

slatewriting slateslates
This roughly equates to the English term "blank slate" (or, more literally, "erased slate") which refers to the emptiness of a slate prior to it being written on with chalk.

Western philosophy

Western thoughtWesternlate modern philosophy
In Western philosophy, the concept of tabula rasa can be traced back to the writings of Aristotle who writes in his treatise "Περί Ψυχῆς" (De Anima or On the Soul) of the "unscribed tablet."

Aristotle

AristotelianAristotelesAristote
In Western philosophy, the concept of tabula rasa can be traced back to the writings of Aristotle who writes in his treatise "Περί Ψυχῆς" (De Anima or On the Soul) of the "unscribed tablet."

Stoicism

StoicStoicsStoic philosophy
This idea was further developed in Ancient Greek philosophy by the Stoic school.

Aetius (philosopher)

AetiusAëtiusAetios
The doxographer Aetius summarizes this view as "When a man is born, the Stoics say, he has the commanding part of his soul like a sheet of paper ready for writing upon."

Diogenes Laërtius

Diogenes LaertiusDiogenesDiog. Laërtius
Diogenes Laërtius attributes a similar belief to the Stoic Zeno of Citium when he writes in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers that:

Zeno of Citium

ZenoZeno the StoicZenon
Diogenes Laërtius attributes a similar belief to the Stoic Zeno of Citium when he writes in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers that: