Tabula Rasa Essay

Tabula Rasa or blank slate was a theory that became popular because of John Locke (HelpingPsychology). The Blank Slate theory is a theory that says everyone is born with a blank mind. There are no ideas or thoughts. Everything must be must learned and interrupted from the world around. This debate has been going on for a decades. Whether the mind is born blank or that there are ideas and thoughts when we are born. In the article The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker he speaks about the Blank Slate theory. He speaks about the debate and different views.

Pinker uses John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner as examples for the debate. Watson believed that the when a child is born with nothing and has to gain the knowledge through experience. Watson’s most famous boost about this subject “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in, and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select-doctor, lawyer, artists merchants-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (Watson, 21)” The debate about Blank Slate theory has been discussed but it has also caused problems.

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The Blank Slate theory in society has given way to cause problems between parent and child. It has also led to social problems. “And the conviction that humanity could be reshaped by massive social engineering projects has led to some of the greatest atrocities in history. (Watson, 21)” When the ignorance of a subject clouds the eyes of people it becomes easy to see where the distortion of truth is. When the people believe that they are able to shape their children exactly to how they want them they create the perfect situation to become disappointed. Not necessarily in the child but that they did not turn out as hoped or planned.

Before reading this article and further reading I believed that humans were born with blank slates. I believed this because as we mature we need to be taught how to do this like walk and talk. The older we get the more we learn and develop because of our environment. After reading the article, further reading, and more thinking I came to the conclusion that it is not purely one or the other. It like the Nature Nurture debate play off each other. I believe that we as humans are born with certain things in our minds but they are not strong thoughts or ideas. This thoughts and ideas are shadows or microscopic beings that in different environments will grow into something. Whether that something is positive or not depends again on the environment.

The Blank Slate theory is something that has been discussed for decades. It has caused social distress. My views on it have been changed after reading more about it. Whether we are born or not with thoughts or ideas this is something that fascinates people, everyone from psychologists to anthropologists.

Work Cited
HelpingPsychology. (2010, January 28). The Blank Slate Theory in Psychology.HelpingPsychology on HubPages. Retrieved September 19, 2013, from

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