The esteemed seventeenth-century English philosopher John Locke famously declares that we are tabula rasa (blank slates). When it comes to human understanding we rely upon the force of experience (sensation and reflection) and not some mental faculties apparatus, or innate ideas. However, the difficulty with this empirical, antinativist thesis is how it conveniently overlooks Locke's nuance in critiquing a priori categories as providing the epistemic foundations for all truth and knowledge, but fails to see how there is still the problem of putting this "violent abstraction" before all experience. Do we really come into the world as naked as Locke claims?
Should we take Locke at his word that he is an empiricist despite defining us as beings who are "empty cabinets" or blank canvases? Beings who do not or cannot have a history that has any efficacy whether considered biologically or sociologically equipping and attuning us to experience?