If you received your education in Western Society you may have come across the term “tabula rasa” either in literature, philosophy, religion, psychology or social science classes in secondary or post-secondary school. Tabula Rasa translates from Latin into “Blank Slate”. It is the belief that all humans are born without a single imprint of knowledge on their minds but are instead clean, fresh, empty and ready to be written on. This belief, that originated in the mid-300s B.C., holds that it is a person's experience of the world that wires their brains. In other words, whether our personalities are shaped by “nurture” (experience) or “nature” (genetics), tabula rasa suggests that it is "nurture" that writes on this slate.
But what does this old belief