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Explain what is meant by the claim that the human mind starts as a tabula rasa and give one reason for holding this view.

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´╗┐Daryan Omar Philosophy Explain what is meant by the claim that the human mind starts as a tabula rasa and give one reason for holding this view. [15 marks] Tabula rasa is Latin for ?blank slate?; this suggests that when one is born, his mind is vacant or void of any knowledge; it is hence an empty mind. Much like a white board is all at first, white and empty and is filled up with a pen, and here the mind is the whiteboard and the senses are the pen, filling up the brain. Philosophers who hold this view are known as empiricists, famous empiricists include: John Locke, David Hume and George Berkeley. This tabula rasa concept can be scoured back to Aristotle, in his ?On the soul (De Anima)? which was the first time such a notion was presented as he talked of the ?unscribed tablet?. ...read more.


Sensation is what an abundance of our ideas are from, the senses convey from external objects, for example a banana which is made up of senses such as a sight, taste, smell and touch, these senses conceive of conceptions, hence producing the idea of a banana. This is a possible logical explanation for origins of knowledge and also can explain in a rational way, as opposed to rationalists who believed innate ideas which has just been there, as this provides no concise answer. Reflection being the other fountain of knowledge is the other ideas which is independent of external articles, but is somewhat similar to senses and Locke refers to it as ?internal sense?. David Hume who wrote ?An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding?, ascribed the words Thoughts and Impressions to the perceptions the mind has, the impressions being the actual experiences we get our knowledge from and the thoughts being what we think of later when we recall these impressions. ...read more.


Or if an underprivileged person has yet to have the experience of a computer when presented with such a thing, he will surely be in bafflement as his thoughts of a computer are void, as he has no impression of such a thing. Imagine for example a person who has been deprived of all senses since he was born but is nourished until he is twenty, now we must ask, does this twenty year old possess a single thought or concept or idea in his brain? Well how can he as his mind is literally a tabula rasa, how can he have any thoughts in his head with no impressions or sensations, as innate ideas do not exist which is evident as a child does not know anything until he has experienced them, and is told what this external object is he stumbles upon them. ...read more.

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