tabula rasa

tabula rasa
/tab"yeuh leuh rah"seuh, -zeuh, ray"-/; Lat. /tah"boo lah' rddah"sah/, pl. tabulae rasae /tab"yeuh lee' rah"see, -zee, ray"-/; Lat. /tah"boo luy' rddah"suy/.
1. a mind not yet affected by experiences, impressions, etc.
2. anything existing undisturbed in its original pure state.
[1525-35; < L tabula rasa scraped tablet, clean slate]

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      (Latin: “scraped tablet,” i.e., “clean slate”), in epistemology (theory of knowledge) and psychology, a supposed condition that empiricists attribute to the human mind before ideas have been imprinted on it by the reaction of the senses to the external world of objects.

      Comparison of the mind to a blank writing-tablet occurs in Aristotle's De anima (4th century BC), and the Stoics as well as the Aristotelian Peripatetics subsequently argued for an original state of mental blankness. Both the Aristotelians and the Stoics, however, emphasized those faculties of the mind or soul that, having been only potential or inactive before receiving ideas from the senses, respond to the ideas by an intellectual process and convert them into knowledge.

      A new and revolutionary emphasis on the tabula rasa occurred late in the 17th century, when the English empiricist John Locke (Locke, John), in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), argued for the mind's initial resemblance to “white paper, void of all characters,” with “all the materials of reason and knowledge” derived from experience. Though Locke himself fell back on “reflection” as a power of the mind for the exploitation of the given “materials,” his championship of the tabula rasa signaled even more radical positions by later philosophers.

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • tabula rasa — rasa / tabula raza/ locuz. f., lat. (propr. tavola raschiata ), usata in ital. come s.f., solo al sing. [solo nell espressione fare tabula rasa ] ● Espressioni: fig., fare tabula rasa (di qualcosa) 1. [distruggere interamente: il sisma ha fatto… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • TABULA RASA —         (лат.) чистая доска. У Локка сознание до всякого опыта. Выражение употребляли Аристо тель, Альберт Великий и др. Философский энциклопедический словарь. М.: Советская энциклопедия. Гл. редакция: Л. Ф. Ильичёв, П. Н. Федосеев, С. М. Ковалёв …   Философская энциклопедия

  • tabula rasa — (n.) 1530s, the mind in its primary state, from L. tabula rasa, lit. scraped tablet, from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again, from tabula (see TABLE (Cf. table)) + rasa, fem. pp. of radere to scrape away, erase (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • tábula rasa — tábula rasa. (Loc. lat.). f. tabla rasa (ǁ entendimiento sin cultivo ni estudios). || hacer alguien tábula rasa de algo. fr. hacer tabla rasa. * * * ► femenino En la ant. Roma, tableta de cera, blanca y alisada …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • tábula rasa — (Loc. lat.). f. tabla rasa (ǁ entendimiento sin cultivo ni estudios). hacer alguien tábula rasa de algo. fr. hacer tabla rasa …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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  • Tabula rasa — Tabula Tab u*la, n.; pl. {Tabul[ae]}. [L.] 1. A table; a tablet. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) One of the transverse plants found in the calicles of certain corals and hydroids. [1913 Webster] {Tabula rasa}[L.], a smoothed tablet; hence,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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