See also:term used both popularly and in philosophical terminology with the general sense of "
See also:mental picture." To have no idea how a thing happened is to be without a mental picture of an occurrence . In this general sense it is synonymous with concept (q.v.) in its popular usage . In philosophy the term " idea " is
See also:common to all
See also:languages and periods, but there is scarcely any term which has been used with so many different shades of meaning .
See also:Plato used it in the sphere of
See also:metaphysics for the eternally existing reality, th( archetype, of which the
See also:objects of sense are more or less imperfect copies . Chairs may be of different forms, sizes,
See also:colours and so forth, but " laid up in the mind of
See also:God " there is the one permanent idea or type, of which the many
See also:physical chairs are derived with various degrees of imperfection . From this
See also:doctrine it follows that these ideas are the
See also:sole reality (see further
See also:IDEALISM) ; in opposition to it are the empirical thinkers of all
See also:time who find reality in particular physical objects (see
See also:HYLozoISM, EMPIRICISM, &c.) . In striking contrast to Plato's use is that of
See also:Locke, who defines " idea "- as " whatever is the
See also:object of understanding when a man thinks " (
See also:Essay on the Human Understanding (I.), vi . 8) . Here the term is applied not to the mental
See also:process, but to anything whether physical or intellectual which is the object of it . 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."
See also:Wundt widens the term to include " conscious
See also:representation of some object or process of the
See also:world." In so doing he includes not only ideas of memory and
See also:imagination, but also perceptual processes, whereas other psychologists confine the term to the first two groups . G . F .
Stout and J . M .Baldwin, in the
See also:Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, i . 498, define " idea " as " the
See also:reproduction with a more or less adequate image, of an object not actually
See also:present to the senses." They point out that an idea and a perception are by various authorities contrasted in various or in any of the newer forms which seek for the ultimate essence ways . " Difference in degree of intensity," "
See also:comparative of both mind and
See also:matter in some unknown force or energy which,
See also:absence of bodily
See also:movement on the
See also:part of the subject," " corn- while in itself it is neither, yet contains the potentiality of both. parative dependence on mental activity," are suggested by It is true that in some
See also:modern developments of idealism the psychologists as characteristic of an idea as compared with a ultimate reality is conceived of in an impersonal way, but it is perception. usually added that this ultimate or absolute being is not some- It should be observed that an idea, in the narrower and thing
See also:lower but higher than self-conscious
See also:personality, including generally accepted sense of a mental reproduction, is frequently it as a more fully
See also:form may be said to include a more composite . That is, as in the example given above of the idea elementary . of
See also:chair, a
See also:great many objects, differing materially in detail, 2 . Origin and Development of Idealism.—In its self-conscious all
See also:call a single idea . When a man, for example, has obtained form idealism is a modern doctrine . In it the self or subject an idea of chairs in general by comparison with which he can may be said to have come to its rights . This was possible in say " This is a chair, that is a
See also:stool," he has what is known any
See also:complete sense only after the introspective movement as an " abstract idea " distinct from the reproduction in his represented by the
See also:middle ages had done its
See also:work, and the mind of any particular chair (see
See also:ABSTRACTION) . Furthermore thought of the individual mind and will as possessed of relative a complex idea may not have any corresponding physical independence had worked itself out into some degree of clearness. object, though its particular constituent elements may severally In this respect
See also:Descartes' dictum—cogito ergo sum—may be be the reproductions of actual perceptions .
Thus the idea of said to have struck the keynote of modern philosophy, and all a centaur is a complex mental picture composed of the subsequent
See also:speculation to have been merely a prolonged corn-ideas of man and
See also:horse, that of a mermaid of a woman and a mentary upon it . While in its completer form it is thus a
See also:fish. doctrine distinctive of modern times, idealism has its roots far See PSYCHOLOGY. back in the
See also:history of thought .
1ST STAFFORD HENRY NORTHCOTE IDDESLEIGH
IDEALISM (from Gr. i5Ea, archetype or model, throug...
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