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In common usage and in
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. Some ...
, ideas are the results of
thought In their most common sense, the terms thought and thinking refer to conscious cognitive Cognition refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasse ...
. Also in philosophy, ideas can also be mental representational images of some object. Many philosophers have considered ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of being. The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of
human beings Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex Human brain, brain. This has enabled the development of ad ...
. In a popular sense, an idea arises in a reflexive, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the ''idea'' of a person or a place. A new or an original idea can often lead to
innovation Innovation is the practical implementation of ideas that result in the introduction of new goods or service (economics), services or improvement in offering goods or services. ISO TC 279 in the standard ISO 56000:2020 defines innovation as "a ...
.


Etymology

The word ''idea'' comes from Greek ἰδέα ''idea'' "form, pattern," from the root of ἰδεῖν ''idein'', "to see."


History

The argument over the underlying nature of ideas is opened by
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
, whose exposition of his theory of forms--which recurs and accumulates over the course of his many dialogs--appropriates and adds a new sense to the Greek word for things that are "seen" (re. εἶδος) that highlights those elements of perception which are encountered without material or objective reference available to the eyes (re. ἰδέα). As this argument is disseminated the word "idea" begins to take on connotations that would be more familiarly associated with the term today. In the fifth book of his ''Republic'', Plato defines philosophy as the love of this formal (as opposed to visual) way of seeing. Plato advances the theory that perceived but immaterial objects of awareness constituted a realm of deathless forms or ideas from which the material world emanated. Aristotle challenges Plato in this area, positing that the phenomenal world of ideas arises as mental composites of remembered observations. Though it is anachronistic to apply these terms to thinkers from antiquity, it clarifies the argument between Plato and Aristotle if we call Plato an idealist thinker and Aristotle an
empiricist In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be stud ...
thinker. This antagonism between
empiricism In philosophy, empiricism is an Epistemology, epistemological theory that holds that knowledge or justification comes only or primarily from Empirical evidence, sensory experience. It is one of several views within epistemology, along with ra ...
and idealism generally characterizes the dynamism of the argument over the theory of ideas up to the present. This schism in theory has never been resolved to the satisfaction of thinkers from both sides of the disagreement and is represented today in the split between analytic and continental schools of philosophy. Persistent contradictions between
classical physics Classical physics is a group of physics theories that predate modern, more complete, or more widely applicable theories. If a currently accepted theory is considered to be modern, and its introduction represented a major paradigm shift, then the ...
and
quantum mechanics Quantum mechanics is a fundamental Scientific theory, theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including qua ...
may be pointed to as a rough analogy for the gap between the two schools of thought.


Philosophy


Plato

Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
in
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, classical antiquity ( AD 600), th ...
was one of the earliest philosophers to provide a detailed discussion of ideas and of the thinking process (in Plato's Greek the word ''idea'' carries a rather different sense of our modern English term). Plato argued in dialogues such as the ''Phaedo'', ''Symposium'', ''Republic'', and ''Timaeus'' that there is a realm of ideas or forms (''eidei''), which exist independently of anyone who may have thoughts on these ideas, and it is the ideas which distinguish mere opinion from knowledge, for unlike material things which are transient and liable to contrary properties, ideas are unchanging and nothing but just what they are. Consequently, Plato seems to assert forcefully that material things can only be the objects of opinion; real knowledge can only be had of unchanging ideas. Furthermore, ideas for Plato appear to serve as universals; consider the following passage from the ''Republic'':


René Descartes

Descartes often wrote of the meaning of the ''idea'' as an image or representation, often but not necessarily "in the mind", which was well known in the
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language is in contrast with a "standard language". It refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, n ...
. Despite Descartes' invention of the non-Platonic use of the term, he at first followed this vernacular use.b In his '' Meditations on First Philosophy'' he says, "Some of my thoughts are like images of things, and it is to these alone that the name 'idea' properly belongs." He sometimes maintained that ideas were innate and uses of the term ''idea'' diverge from the original primary scholastic use. He provides multiple non-equivalent definitions of the term, uses it to refer to as many as six distinct kinds of entities, and divides ''ideas'' inconsistently into various genetic categories. For him knowledge took the form of ideas and philosophical investigation is devoted to the consideration of these entities.


John Locke

John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "father of liberalism ...
's use of idea stands in striking contrast to Plato's. In his Introduction to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke defines ''idea'' as "that term which, I think, serves best to stand for whatsoever is the object of the understanding when a man thinks, I have used it to express whatever is meant by phantasm, notion, species, or whatever it is which the mind can be employed about in thinking; And I could not avoid frequently using it." He said he regarded the contribution offered in his essay as necessary to examine our own abilities and discern what objects our understandings were, or were not, fitted to deal with. In this style of ideal conception other outstanding figures followed in his footsteps — Hume and Kant in the 18th century, Arthur Schopenhauer in the 19th century, and
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British mathematician, philosopher, logician, and public intellectual. He had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, ar ...
,
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrians, Austrian-British people, British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy o ...
, and Karl Popper in the 20th century. Locke always believed in the ''good sense'' — not pushing things to extremes and while taking fully into account the plain facts of the matter. He prioritized common-sense ideas that struck him as "good-tempered, moderate, and down-to-earth." As John Locke studied humans in his work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” he continually referenced Descartes for ideas as he asked this fundamental question: “When we are concerned with something about which we have no certain knowledge, what rules or standards should guide how confident we allow ourselves to be that our opinions are right?” Locke, John. "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding." (n.d.): An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book, I: Innate Notions. Put in another way, he inquired into how humans might verify their ideas, and considered the distinctions between different types of ideas. Locke found that an idea “can simply mean some sort of brute experience.” He shows that there are “No innate principles in the mind.” Thus, he concludes that “our ideas are all experienced in nature.” An experience can either be a sensation or a reflection: “consider whether there are any innate ideas in the mind before any are brought in by the impression from sensation or reflection.” Therefore, an idea was an experience in which the human mind apprehended something. In a Lockean view, there are really two types of ideas: complex and simple. Simple ideas are the building blocks for more complex ideas, and “While the mind is wholly passive in the reception of simple ideas, it is very active in the building of complex ideas…” Complex ideas, therefore, can either be ''modes'', ''substances'', or ''relations''. ''Modes'' combine simpler ideas in order to convey new information. For instance, David Banach gives the example of beauty as a mode. He points to combinations of color and form as qualities constitutive of this mode. ''Substances'', however, are distinct from modes. ''Substances'' convey the underlying formal unity of certain objects, such as dogs, cats, or tables. ''Relations'' represent the relationship between two or more ideas that contain analogous elements to one another without the implication of underlying formal unity. A painting or a piece of music, for example, can both be called 'art' without belonging to the same substance. They are related as forms of art (the term 'art' in this illustration would be a 'mode of relations'). In this way, Locke concluded that the formal ambiguity around ideas he initially sought to clarify had been resolved.


David Hume

Hume differs from Locke by limiting ''idea'' to the more or less vague mental reconstructions of perceptions, the perceptual process being described as an "impression." Hume shared with Locke the basic empiricist premise that it is only from life experiences (whether their own or others') that humans' knowledge of the existence of anything outside of themselves can be ultimately derived, that they shall carry on doing what they are prompted to do by their emotional drives of varying kinds. In choosing the means to those ends, they shall follow their accustomed associations of ideas.d Hume has contended and defended the notion that "reason alone is merely the 'slave of the passions'."


Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemolo ...
defines ''ideas'' by distinguishing them from '' concepts''. ''Concepts'' arise by the compositing of experience into abstract categorial representations of presumed or encountered empirical objects whereas the origin of ''ideas,'' for Kant, is a priori to experience. ''Regulative ideas'', for example, are ideals that one must tend towards, but by definition may not be completely realized as objects of empirical experience.
Liberty Liberty is the ability to do as one pleases, or a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant (i.e. privilege). It is a synonym for the word freedom. In modern politics, liberty is understood as the state of being free within society fr ...
, according to Kant, is an ''idea'' whereas "tree" (as an abstraction covering all species of trees) is a ''concept''. The
autonomy In developmental psychology and morality, moral, political, and bioethics, bioethical philosophy, autonomy, from , ''autonomos'', from αὐτο- ''auto-'' "self" and νόμος ''nomos'', "law", hence when combined understood to mean "one who g ...
of the rational and universal subject is opposed to the
determinism Determinism is a Philosophy, philosophical view, where all events are determined completely by previously existing causes. Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have developed from diverse and sometimes overlapping motive ...
of the
empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence is of central importance to the sciences and ...
subject. Kant felt that it is precisely in knowing its limits that philosophy exists. The business of philosophy he thought was not to give rules, but to analyze the private judgement of good common sense.e


Rudolf Steiner

Whereas Kant declares limits to knowledge ("we can never know the thing in itself"), in his
epistemological Epistemology (; ), or the theory of knowledge, is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemology is considered a major subfield of philosophy, along with other major subfields such as ethics Ethics or moral philosophy ...
work,
Rudolf Steiner Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner (27 or 25 February 1861 – 30 March 1925) was an Austrians, Austrian occultist, social reformer, architecture, architect, Esotericism, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyance, clairvoyant. Steiner gained initial re ...
sees ''ideas'' as "objects of experience" which the mind apprehends, much as the eye apprehends light. In ''
Goethean Science Goethean science concerns the natural philosophy (German ''Naturphilosophie'' "philosophy of nature") of German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Although primarily known as a literary figure, Goethe did research in Morphology (biology), morpholog ...
'' (1883), he declares, "Thinking ... is no more and no less an organ of perception than the eye or ear. Just as the eye perceives colors and the ear sounds, so thinking perceives ideas." He holds this to be the premise upon which
Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German people, German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, politician, statesman, theatre director, and critic. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe bibliography, His works include pla ...
made his natural-scientific observations.


Wilhelm Wundt

Wundt widens the term from Kant's usage to include ''conscious representation of some object or process of the external world''. In so doing, he includes not only ideas of
memory Memory is the faculty of the mind by which data or information is Encoding (memory), encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If Foresight (psycholo ...
and
imagination Imagination is the production or simulation of novel objects, sensations, and ideas in the mind without any immediate input of the senses. Stefan Szczelkun characterises it as the forming of experiences in one's mind, which can be re-creations o ...
, but also perceptual processes, whereas other
psychologist A psychologist is a professional who practices psychology and studies mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior. Their work often involves the experimentation, observation, and interpretation of how indi ...
s confine the term to the first two groups. One of Wundt's main concerns was to investigate conscious processes in their own context by
experiment An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy or likelihood of something previously untried. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs wh ...
and introspection. He regarded both of these as ''exact methods'', interrelated in that experimentation created optimal conditions for introspection. Where the experimental method failed, he turned to other ''objectively valuable aids'', specifically to ''those products of cultural communal life which lead one to infer particular mental motives. Outstanding among these are speech, myth, and social custom.'' Wundt designed the basic mental activity apperception — a unifying function which should be understood as an activity of the will. Many aspects of his empirical physiological psychology are used today. One is his principles of mutually enhanced contrasts and of assimilation and dissimilation (i.e. in color and form perception and his advocacy of ''objective'' methods of expression and of recording results, especially in language. Another is the principle of heterogony of ends — that multiply motivated acts lead to unintended side effects which in turn become motives for new actions.


Charles Sanders Peirce

C. S. Peirce published the first full statement of pragmatism in his important works " How to Make Our Ideas Clear" (1878) and " The Fixation of Belief" (1877). In "How to Make Our Ideas Clear" he proposed that a ''clear idea'' (in his study he uses
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition. As such, concepts are studied by sev ...
and ''idea'' as synonymic) is defined as one, when it is apprehended such as it will be recognized wherever it is met, and no other will be mistaken for it. If it fails of this clearness, it is said to be obscure. He argued that to understand an idea clearly we should ask ourselves what difference its application would make to our evaluation of a proposed solution to the problem at hand. Pragmatism (a term he appropriated for use in this context), he defended, was a method for ascertaining the meaning of terms (as a theory of meaning). The originality of his ideas is in their rejection of what was accepted as a view and understanding of knowledge as impersonal facts which had been accepted by scientists for some 250 years. Peirce contended that we acquire knowledge as ''participants'', not as ''spectators''. He felt "the real", sooner or later, is composed of information that has been acquired through ideas and knowledge and ordered by the application of logical reasoning. The rational distinction of the empirical object is not prior to its perception by a knowledgable subject, in other words. He also published many papers on logic in relation to ''ideas''.


G. F. Stout and J. M. Baldwin

G. F. Stout and J. M. Baldwin, in the ''Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology'', define the ''idea'' as "the reproduction with a more or less adequate
image An image is a visual representation of something. It can be two-dimensional, three-dimensional, or somehow otherwise feed into the visual system to convey information. An image can be an artifact, such as a photograph or other two-dimensiona ...
, of an object not actually present to the senses." They point out that an idea and a perception are by various authorities contrasted in various ways. "Difference in degree of intensity", "comparative absence of bodily movement on the part of the subject", "comparative dependence on mental activity", are suggested by psychologists as characteristic of an idea as compared with a
perception Perception () is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment. All perception involves signals that go through the nervous syste ...
. It should be observed that an idea, in the narrower and generally accepted sense of a mental reproduction, is frequently composite. That is, as in the example given above of the idea of a chair, a great many objects, differing materially in detail, all call a single idea. When a man, for example, has obtained an idea of chairs in general by comparison with which he can say "This is a chair, that is a stool", he has what is known as an "abstract idea" distinct from the reproduction in his mind of any particular chair (see
abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process wherein general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs. T ...
). Furthermore, a complex idea may not have any corresponding physical object, though its particular constituent elements may severally be the reproductions of actual perceptions. Thus the idea of a
centaur A centaur ( ; grc, κένταυρος, kéntauros; ), or occasionally hippocentaur, is a creature from Greek mythology with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse. Centaurs are thought of in many Greek myths as being ...
is a complex mental picture composed of the ideas of man and
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a Domestication, domesticated, odd-toed ungulate, one-toed, ungulate, hoofed mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant subspecies of wild horse, ''Equus fer ...
, that of a
mermaid In folklore, a mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including Europe, Asia, and Africa. Mermaids are sometimes asso ...
of a
woman A woman is an adult female human. Prior to adulthood, a female human is referred to as a girl (a female child or Adolescence, adolescent). The plural ''women'' is sometimes used in certain phrases such as "women's rights" to denote female hum ...
and a
fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous and bony fish as we ...
.


Walter Benjamin

"Ideas are to objects f perceptionas constellations are to stars," writes Walter Benjamin in the introduction to his '' The Origin of German Tragic Drama''. "The set of concepts which assist in the representation of an idea lend it actuality as such a configuration. For phenomena are not incorporated into ideas. They are not contained in them. Ideas are, rather, their objective virtual arrangement, their objective interpretation." Benjamin advances, "That an idea is that moment in the substance and being of a word in which this word has become, and performs, as a symbol." as George Steiner summarizes. In this way ''techne--''art and technology--may be represented, ideally, as "discrete, fully autonomous objects... hus enteringinto fusion without losing their identity."


In anthropology and the social sciences

Diffusion Diffusion is the net movement of anything (for example, atoms, ions, molecules, energy) generally from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration. Diffusion is driven by a gradient in Gibbs free energy or chemical p ...
studies explore the spread of ideas from culture to culture. Some anthropological theories hold that all cultures imitate ideas from one or a few original cultures, the Adam of the Bible, or several cultural circles that overlap. Evolutionary diffusion theory holds that cultures are influenced by one another but that similar ideas can be developed in isolation. In the mid-20th century, social scientists began to study how and why ideas spread from one person or culture to another. Everett Rogers pioneered diffusion of innovations studies, using research to prove factors in adoption and profiles of adopters of ideas. In 1976, in his book ''
The Selfish Gene ''The Selfish Gene'' is a 1976 book on evolution by the ethologist Richard Dawkins, in which the author builds upon the principal theory of George C. Williams (biologist), George C. Williams's ''Adaptation and Natural Selection'' (1966). Dawk ...
'',
Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941) is a British evolutionary biology, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an Oxford fellow, emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Prof ...
suggested applying biological
evolution Evolution is change in the heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes, which are passed on from parent to ...
ary theories to the spread of ideas. He coined the term '' meme'' to describe an abstract unit of selection, equivalent to the
gene In biology, the word gene (from , ; "...Wilhelm Johannsen coined the word gene to describe the Mendelian inheritance#History, Mendelian units of heredity..." meaning ''generation'' or ''birth'' or ''gender'') can have several different meanin ...
in
evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolution, evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the Biodiversity, diversity of life on Earth. It is also defined as the study of ...
.


Ideas & Intellectual Property


Relationship between ideas and patents


On susceptibility to exclusive property

Patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...
law regulates various aspects related to the functional manifestation of inventions based on new ideas or incremental improvements to existing ones. Thus, patents have a direct relationship to ideas.


Relationship between ideas and copyrights

In some cases, authors can be granted limited
legal Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
monopolies on the manner in which certain works are expressed. This is known colloquially as
copyright A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, education ...
, although the term
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The best-known types are patents, ...
is used mistakenly in place of ''copyright''. Copyright law regulating the aforementioned monopolies generally does not cover the actual ideas. The law does not bestow the legal status of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to Consumables, consume, alte ...
upon ideas per se. Instead, laws purport to regulate events related to the usage, copying, production, sale and other forms of exploitation of the fundamental expression of a work, that may or may not carry ideas. Copyright law is fundamentally different from
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...
law in this respect: patents do grant monopolies on ideas (more on this below). A
copyright A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, education ...
is meant to regulate some aspects of the usage of expressions of a work, ''not'' an idea. Thus, copyrights have a negative relationship to ideas. Work means a tangible medium of expression. It may be an original or derivative work of art, be it literary, dramatic, musical recitation, artistic, related to sound recording, etc. In (at least) countries adhering to the Berne Convention, copyright automatically starts covering the work upon the original creation and fixation thereof, without any extra steps. While creation usually involves an idea, the idea in itself does not suffice for the purposes of claiming copyright.Protecting Ideas: Can Ideas Be Protected or Patented?
– article b
Gene Quinn
a
Ipwatchdog
February 15, 2014
''Intellectual property consists of products, work or processes that you have created and which give you a competitive advantage. There are 3 subcategories : Industrial property : inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, new varieties of plants and geographic indications of origin Artistic work protected by copyright: original literary and artistic works, music, television broadcasting, software, databases, architectural designs, advertising creations and multimedia Commercial strategies : trade secrets, know-how, confidentiality agreements, or rapid production.'' – CIT
European Union
Updated 22/01/2018


Relationship of ideas to confidentiality agreements

Confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements are legal instruments that assist corporations and individuals in keeping ideas from escaping to the general public. Generally, these instruments are covered by contract law.


See also

* Idealism * Brainstorming * Creativity techniques * Diffusion of innovations * Form *
Ideology An ideology is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially those held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones." Formerly applied pr ...
* List of perception-related topics * Notion (philosophy) * Object of the mind *
Think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most think tanks are non-governmental org ...
*
Thought experiment A thought experiment is a hypothetical situation in which a hypothesis, theory, or principle is laid out for the purpose of thinking through its consequences. History The ancient Greek ''deiknymi'' (), or thought experiment, "was the most anci ...
*
History of ideas Intellectual history (also the history of ideas) is the study of the history of human thought and of intellectuals, people who conceptualize, discuss, write about, and concern themselves with ideas. The investigative premise of intellectual histor ...
* Intellectual history *
Concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition. As such, concepts are studied by sev ...
*
Philosophical analysis Philosophical analysis is any of various skill, techniques, typically used by philosophers in the analytic philosophy, analytic tradition, in order to "break down" (i.e. analyze) philosophical issues. Arguably the most prominent of these techniques ...


Notes


References

* ''The Encyclopedia of Philosophy'', Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1973
Dictionary of the History of Ideas
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1973–74, :
- Nous
:: ¹ Volume IV 1a, 3a :: ² Volume IV 4a, 5a :: ³ Volume IV 32 - 37 :
Ideas
:
Ideology
:
Authority
:
Education
:
Liberalism
:
Idea of God
:
Pragmatism
:
Chain of Being
* ''The Story of Thought'', DK Publishing, Bryan Magee, London, 1998, : a.k.a. ''The Story of Philosophy'', Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2001, :: (subtitled on cover: ''The Essential Guide to the History of Western Philosophy'') :: a Plato, pages 11 - 17, 24 - 31, 42, 50, 59, 77, 142, 144, 150 :: b Descartes, pages 78, 84 - 89, 91, 95, 102, 136 - 137, 190, 191 :: c Locke, pages 59 - 61, 102 - 109, 122 - 124, 142, 185 :: d Hume, pages 61, 103, 112 - 117, 142 - 143, 155, 185 :: e Kant, pages 9, 38, 57, 87, 103, 119, 131 - 137, 149, 182 :: f Peirce, pages 61, ''How to Make Our Ideas Clear'' 186 - 187 and 189 :: g Saint Augustine, pages 30, 144; ''City of God'' 51, 52, 53 and ''The Confessions'' 50, 51, 52 :: - additional in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas fo
Saint Augustine and Neo-Platonism
:: h Stoics, pages 22, 40, 44; The governing philosophy of the Roman Empire on pages 46 - 47. :: - additional in Dictionary of the History of Ideas fo
Stoics
also her

and her

and her

* ''The Reader's Encyclopedia'', 2nd Edition 1965, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, :: An Encyclopedia of World Literature :: ¹apage 774 Plato (427–348 BC) :: ²apage 779 Francesco Petrarca :: ³apage 770 Charles Sanders Peirce :: ¹bpage 849 the Renaissance * This article incorporates text from the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, a publication now in the
public domain The public domain (PD) consists of all the creative work to which no Exclusive exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because those rights have ...
.


Further reading

* A. G. Balz, ''Idea and Essence in the Philosophy of Hobbes and Spinoza'' (New York 1918) * Gregory T. Doolan, ''Aquinas on the divine ideas as exemplar causes'' (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2008) * Patricia A. Easton (ed.), ''Logic and the Workings of the Mind. The Logic of Ideas and Faculty Psychology in Early Modern Philosophy'' (Atascadero, Calif.: Ridgeview 1997) * Pierre Garin, ''La Théorie de l'idée suivant l'école thomiste'' (Paris 1932) * Marc A. High, ''Idea and Ontology. An Essay in Early Modern Metaphysics of Ideas'' ( Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008) * Lawrence Lessig, '' The Future of Ideas'' (New York 2001) * Paul Natorp, ''Platons Ideenlehre'' (Leipzig 1930) * * W. D. Ross, ''Plato's Theory of Ideas'' (Oxford 1951) * Peter Watson, ''Ideas: A History from Fire to Freud'', Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London 2005) * J. W. Yolton, ''John Locke and the Way of Ideas'' (Oxford 1956) {{Authority control A priori Abstraction Cognition Creativity Concepts in epistemology Free will Idealism Innovation Mental content Mental processes Concepts in metaphilosophy Metaphysics of mind Observation Ontology Perception Platonism Qualia Rationalism Reasoning Sources of knowledge Subjective experience Thought