Tabula Rasa and Human Nature

Philosophy 87 (04):509-529 (2012)
Abstract
It is widely believed that the philosophical concept of 'tabula rasa' originates with Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding and refers to a state in which a child is as formless as a blank slate. Given that both these beliefs are entirely false, this article will examine why they have endured from the eighteenth century to the present. Attending to the history of philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and feminist scholarship it will be shown how the image of the tabula rasa has been used to signify an originary state of formlessness, against which discourses on the true nature of the human being can differentiate their position. The tabula rasa has operated less as a substantive position than as a whipping post. However, it will be noted that innovations in psychological theory over the past decade have begun to undermine such narratives by rendering unintelligible the idea of an 'originary' state of human nature
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819112000393
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,749
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Writing and Difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - University of Chicago Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1991 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 449-451.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Return of the "Tabula Rasa". [REVIEW]Alex Rosenberg - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):476 - 497.
The Return of the Tabula Rasa. [REVIEW]Stefan Linquist & Alex Rosenberg - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):476–497.
The Return of the Tabula Rasa by Kim Sterelny.Alex Rosenberg - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):476-497.
Read The Indian National Project: Its Sucesses & Failures (1948).JIll Starr - forthcoming - Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution is Published by the Tabula Rasa Institute.
Studies in Comparative Aesthetics.Eliot Deutsch - 1975 - University Press of Hawaii.
Consciousness by the Lights of Logic and Commonsense.Selmer Bringsjord - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):144-146.
Il'enkov on Education.David Bakhurst - 2005 - Studies in East European Thought 57 (3-4):261 - 275.
Human Nature in a Post-Essentialist World.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):983-993.
Added to PP index
2012-10-05

Total downloads
45 ( #119,792 of 2,197,364 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #44,235 of 2,197,364 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature