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Innocent Until Proven Guilty

101.049Jackson 12/3/98Innocent Until Proven GuiltyTabula rasa: the mind before it is developed and changed by experience. Philosopher John Locke believed that at birth and in infancy the mind is completely passive, a clean slate, tabula rasa, on which the experiences of the individual write their own impressions. (Wiener, 2134) (Any influences from drugs, alcohol, by a mother in pregnancy, etc... excluded.) It is a given that an infant’s mind is not yet fully developed early in its life. Especially at this early stage and even far on into a child’s life he is dependent on someone - whether it be his mother, father, sister, brother, or other “adult” figure, who takes care of him; ensuring his survival. True to Locke’s theory, a child’s mind has yet to be influenced by anything, hence tabula rasa. And it is also true, the experiences that a child has while growing up will profoundly dictate his character and personality. Education plays a role in an individual’s formation through the experiences in which that institution exists. Different types of people also help determine the personal nature of an individual. The experiences that one has due to the effects of his educational process, his social relationships with different types of people, and his association with various environments set the scene for his life, thus forming his individuality.Experiences are not just events that may occur, but anything that stirs emotion or evokes a feeling or reaction in a person. Experiences can range from actual events or physically engaging actions, to inanimate objects or concrete details, and even to other people. As long as a phenomenon causes a person to question, evaluate, or draw some sort of conclusion about it, and he therefore consciously or subconsciously commits it to memory, it is absolutely an “experience.” In other words, an “experience” is by definition, ...

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