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Tabula rasa

Classic Language

Meaning of Tabula rasa
The English meaning and translation of the Latin phrase "Tabula rasa" is as follows:

 "Blank or clean slate"

Definition of Tabula rasa
The meaning and definition of this famous Latin expression relates to the concept used in philosophy that every human is born with a blank or clear mind and that life experiences are what mould the person. The concept that all knowledge is gained by first by experience and then by reasoning. Nature versus nurture.

Tabula rasa


Origin of "Tabula rasa"
The origin of the expression "Tabula rasa"was coined by the philosopher John Locke and dates back to era of the ancient Romans who used a reusable wax tablet called a 'tabula' to make notes. The tablet was made of wood and covered with a layer of wax that could be scraped leaving a smoothed tablet or a blank slate. The term 'rasa' means to erase or scrape.

Examples of "Tabula rasa" in Philosophy
The concept of "Tabula rasa" (a clean slate)
has been used by many famous philosophers including Aristotle, Plato and Albertus Magnus. It was used by John Locke in his essay Essay Concerning Human Understanding who adopted it in his critique of the theory of innate ideas and his views on the  featureless, unformed mind.

Classic Motto and Proverb


Tabula rasa
This phrase or expression "Tabula rasa"
meaning "Blank or clean slate" is also applied in situations in which there is a need, or an opportunity, to start again from the beginning..

"We must make a tabula rasa of the whole situation."

The Latin language spread throughout the western world and was taught in schools and spoken by the greatest scholars. The use of this expression was so useful and popular that it has survived the passing of time, the phrase is one of our 'Latin legacies'.

"I'm returning to college where I want to start with
a tabula rasa (clean slate)."


Tabula rasa

Definition of famous Latin expression and phrase
Means "Blank or clean slate"
Simple translation of this famous Latin phrase
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Examples, Meaning and Definition of expression
Definition of "Tabula rasa"
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Classic Motto and Proverb


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