1530s, "the mind in its primary state," from L. tabula rasa, lit. "scraped tablet,"
from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again,
from tabula (see table) + rasa, fem. pp. of radere "to scrape away, erase" (see raze).
A loan-translation of Aristotle's pinakis agraphos, lit. "unwritten tablet" ("De anima," 7.22).