• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Ensayo de teoria de conocimiento

    estas puedan procesar cosas por su cuenta, luego estas fueron m�s compactas, se usaban para tipiar documentos, luego para guardar documentos y hoy en d�a que no se puede hacer con la computadora. A lo que quiero demostrar con esto, es que de esta manera se genera un nuevo horizonte

  2. There is no Reason to Assume I will exist after my Death.

    Descartes is another dualist and would have argued against Dawkins ideas. Decartes identifies the soul with the person and with the mind; ' I am a mind, which is a soul'. His argument for life after death was based on his beliefs about the soul, similar beliefs to Plato.

  1. Locke says that before we experience anything our minds are blank, what he calls ...

    However, Plato says that this man is a rationalist and he has a higher level of thought meaning that he would not be able to stay in the cave, even though those around him are quite happy to stay put. I can define this in the empiricist view.

  2. Can a computer think? Really think?

    Again, this is assumed not proved. Searle is basing his argument on assuming the conclusion. If Saerle's this argument is right, I can only make sure that I am conscious. Therefore, nobody knows whether other human beings are conscious, not to speak of computers.

  1. Discussing John Dewey.

    The problem is then to get together what has been sundered-which is as if the king's men started with the fragments of the egg and tried to construct the whole egg out of them. (Dewey, John, Experience and Nature. Dover: New York, 1958, P.

  2. Reductive physicalist accounts of the mind fail to fully explain the nature of mental ...

    For example: John believes he is going to be in a play ? if John learns his lines, then John will be able to act (in pain). The actor?s ?deceiving? behaviour was therefore conditioned by a previous disposition to be that way.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work