RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

Your Guide to Clear and Concise Legal Definitions

Legal Dictionary

Tabula rasa

“Tabula rasa” is a Latin phrase that means “blank slate” in English. It is a philosophical idea that proposes that individuals are born without any innate knowledge or predispositions. Their minds are like blank slates waiting to be filled with experiences, perceptions, and learning.

The notion of tabula rasa is mostly attributed to the English philosopher John Locke, who introduced it in his work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” published in 1690. Locke argued that at birth, the human mind is devoid of any ideas or beliefs and that knowledge primarily comes from sensory experiences and personal reflection.

The idea of tabula rasa has significant implications for understanding human development, learning processes, and the formation of individual identities. It suggests that people are shaped by their environment, upbringing, education, and personal experiences, rather than predetermined by innate characteristics or traits.

Articles & News for Law Professionals

Go to Top