The Problem of Tabula Rasa and Human Values (article in Lithuanian)

Saulius Kanišauskas


The article focuses on the issue questioning what determines human behavior, moral and social values. The question of whether a human being is a “tabula rasa,” i.e. a “clean slate” which is written on by life, posited in the context of the historic argument between R. Descartes and J. Locke. At present social science displays a diversity of opinions attempting to solve this question. The paper approaches the problem from the trans-disciplinary discourse viewpoint, i.e. in the contexts of philosophy, cognitive science, transpersonal psychology and social synergetics. It is argued that although human being behavior and character traits are profoundly influenced by education; genetic and social codes play a major role in shaping a personality. Social code is understood as an unconsciously acquired cultural heritage. It is attempted to conclude that life quality enhancement of the human being should be directed towards long term development of moral and spiritual values, but not towards enhancement of material values.


trans-disciplinary discourse; “tabula rasa”; social-synergetics; social codes; values

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236