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Early Modern Philosophy

John Locke

What did John Locke mean by saying the mind was a tabula rasa?

Unlike the rationalists, who thought that we were born with certain ideas about the world, Locke thought that our minds are like a blank slate (tabula rasa) at birth. All of our ideas are the result of two different processes that happen after we are born. The first is sensory experience, and the second is our reflection on our sensory experience and on the workings of our own minds. One of his main arguments against innate ideas was that people do not all have the same ideas, but their ideas differ as their experience has differed.



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