John Locke and Other Empiricists

John Locke was a British empiricist whose claim to fame was arguing how newborns develop over the years. He believes in the Latin phrase, “Tabula Rosa” which means “Blank Slate”. He thinks that children are born lacking knowledge that people know, and that over time they develop learning skills which allow them to function and make viable decisions. Just like every other Philosopher, Locke did not agree with most people. But on one occasion, he agreed with Descrates when he said senses could be detected, but we can not always trust the senses that are being provided. On the other hand, Berkeley was another one that bumped ideas with Locke. He questioned Locke’s sensory information, and wondered about perception, seeing if any of this was actually real and physically here.

Symbaluk, D. G., Honey, P. L., & Powell, R. A. (2017). Introduction to learning and behavior. Boston: Wadsworth.


  1. I absolutely agree with Locke in the sense that we are a "blank slate" when we are born. But, by the time we are toddlers, most of what we know comes from our parents/guardians, so in that sense, are we really our own person since birth? I'd definitely like to think so still.


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