The blank slate

After a swimming lesson we’re walking back past Naughton’s, the pub on the corner of our street.   Just then a man opens up the metal trapdoors on the footpath, exposing steps leading down into the cellar which is full of barrels.  Lillian is fascinated.  She bends over to peer down into the cellar.

“What’s that!?” she asks.

“That’s where they store the beer,” I say.

“I didn’t know that.  How did you know that?”

“Well… I’ve lived around here  long time…”

“But nobody else knows that.”

“Well, I guess  quite a few people do know about the beer cellar” I respond.

“But babies don’t know that when they’re just born,” she objects.

“I guess that’s right,” I concede, noting to myself that even a 6 year old can come up with the theory of the mind as starting out as a tabula rasa waiting to be impressed by knowledge through experience.


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