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John Locke
The mind as a "tabula rasa"

The Human mind as a "tabula rasa"

It was statesman-philosopher Francis Bacon who, early in the seventeenth century, first strongly established the claims of Empiricism - the reliance on the experience of the senses - over those speculation or deduction in the pursuit of knowledge.

John Locke in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding restated the importance of the experience of the senses over speculation and sets out the case that the human mind at birth is a complete, but receptive, blank slate ( scraped tablet or tabula rasa ) upon which experience imprints knowledge.
Locke argued that people acquire knowledge from the information about the objects in the world that our senses bring. People begin with simple ideas and then combine them into more complex ones.
Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from EXPERIENCE.

Essay Concerning Human Understanding : Hernnstein & Murray, 1994, p.311
Locke definitely did not believe in powers of intuition or that the human mind is invested with innate conceptions.

In his Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1697), Locke recommended practical learning to prepare people to manage their social, economic, and political affairs efficiently. He believed that a sound education began in early childhood and insisted that the teaching of reading, writing, and arithmetic be gradual and cumulative.

In our own times the social and psychological sciences tend to take the view that Human Beings are 'formed' socially and psychologically by nature as well as by nurture and that there are inherited traits that society can build on and to some extent modify.

Explore Inner Space!!!

It is widely known that Plato, pupil of and close friend to Socrates, accepted that Human Beings have a " Tripartite Soul " where the individual Human Psyche is composed of three aspects - Wisdom-Rationality, Spirited-Will and Appetite-Desire.

What is less widely appreciated is that such major World Faiths as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism see "Spirituality" as being relative to "Desire" and to "Wrath".


Human Be-ing seems
to be rather "Tripartite"

Diagram suggesting that Human Nature demonstrates a Spiritual, Materialistic and Tribal / Ethnic 'Tripartism'


Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that:-

   "...man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
  whose flower and fruitage is the world..."



Human Beings are "social beings" and, that being the case, it seems possible that individual Human-innate
"bundles of relations and knots of roots" greatly contribute give rise to the "World" of, (Non-Ideological or Non-Doctrinaire), Human Societies!!!

Human Societies often seem
to be rather "Tripartite"

Diagram suggesting that Human Societies often demonstrate capacities for Spiritual, Materialistic and Tribal / Ethnic 'Tripartism'

Explore Human Nature on our insightful
Human Nature - Tripartite Soul page