Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1530s, "the mind in its primary state," from Latin tabula rasa, literally "scraped tablet," from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again, from tabula (see table) + rasa, fem. past participle of radere "to scrape away, erase" (see raze). A loan-translation of Aristotle's pinakis agraphos, literally "unwritten tablet" ("De anima," 7.22).
(Latin: "scraped tablet," i.e., "clean slate"), in epistemology (theory of knowledge) and psychology, a supposed condition that empiricists attribute to the human mind before ideas have been imprinted on it by the reaction of the senses to the external world of objects.