tabula rasa (n.)

"the mind in its primary state," 1530s, from Latin tabula rasa, literally "scraped tablet," from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again, from tabula (see table (n.)) + rasa, fem. past participle of radere "to scrape away, erase" (possibly from an extended form of PIE root *red- "to scrape, scratch, gnaw"). A loan-translation of Aristotle's pinakis agraphos, literally "unwritten tablet" ("De anima," 7.22).

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