Idea

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Plato, one of the first philosophers to discuss ideas in detail. Aristotle claims that many of Plato's views were Pythagorean in origin. Plato-raphael.jpg
Plato, one of the first philosophers to discuss ideas in detail. Aristotle claims that many of Plato's views were Pythagorean in origin.

In philosophy, ideas are usually taken as mental representational images of some object. Ideas can also be abstract concepts that do not present as mental images. [1] 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. 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 original idea can often lead to innovation. [2]

Philosophy Study of general and fundamental questions

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

A mental representation, in philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science, is a hypothetical internal cognitive symbol that represents external reality, or else a mental process that makes use of such a symbol: "a formal system for making explicit certain entities or types of information, together with a specification of how the system does this".

Object (philosophy) Technical term in modern philosophy often used in contrast to the term subject

An object is a technical term in modern philosophy often used in contrast to the term subject. A subject is an observer and an object is a thing observed. For modern philosophers like Descartes, consciousness is a state of cognition that includes the subject—which can never be doubted as only it can be the one who doubts—and some object(S) that may be considered as not having real or full existence or value independent of the subject who observes it. Metaphysical frameworks also differ in whether they consider objects existing independently of their properties and, if so, in what way.

Contents

Etymology

The word idea comes from Greek ἰδέα idea "form, pattern," from the root of ἰδεῖν idein, "to see." [3]

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

Innate and adventitious ideas

One view on the nature of ideas is that there exist some ideas (called innate ideas) which are so general and abstract that they could not have arisen as a representation of an object of our perception but rather were in some sense always present. These are distinguished from adventitious ideas which are images or concepts which are accompanied by the judgment that they are caused or occasioned by an external object. [1]

Perception Organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment

Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information, or the environment.

Another view holds that we only discover ideas in the same way that we discover the real world, from personal experiences. The view that humans acquire all or almost all their behavioral traits from nurture (life experiences) is known as tabula rasa ("blank slate"). Most of the confusions in the way ideas arise is at least in part due to the use of the term "idea" to cover both the representation perceptics and the object of conceptual thought. This can be always illustrated in terms of the scientific doctrines of innate ideas, "concrete ideas versus abstract ideas", as well as "simple ideas versus complex ideas". [4]

<i>Tabula rasa</i>

Tabula rasa is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Generally, proponents of the tabula rasa theory also favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate when it comes to aspects of one's personality, social and emotional behaviour, knowledge and sapience.

Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concepts are derived from the usage and classification of specific examples, literal signifiers, first principles, or other methods.

Philosophy

Plato

Plato in Ancient Greece 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 from 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:

Plato Classical Greek philosopher

Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought, and the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

We both assert that there are," I said, "and distinguish in speech, many fair things, many good things, and so on for each kind of thing."

"Yes, so we do."

"And we also assert that there is a fair itself, a good itself, and so on for all things that we set down as many. Now, again, we refer to them as one idea of each as though the idea were one; and we address it as that which really is."

"That's so."

"And, moreover, we say that the former are seen, but not intellected, while the ideas are intellected but not seen.

Plato, Bk. VI 507b-c

René Descartes

Descartes often wrote of the meaning of idea as an image or representation, often but not necessarily "in the mind", which was well known in the vernacular. Despite that Descartes is usually credited with the 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 [5] 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. [6] For him knowledge took the form of ideas and philosophical investigation is the deep consideration of these entities.

Vernacular common speech variety of a specific population

A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the speech variety used in everyday life by the general population in a geographical or social territory. The vernacular is contrasted with higher-prestige forms of language, such as national, literary, liturgical or scientific idiom, or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area. The vernacular is usually native, normally spoken informally rather than written, and seen as of lower status than more codified forms. It may vary from more prestigious speech varieties in different ways, in that the vernacular can be a distinct stylistic register, a regional dialect, a sociolect, or an independent language.

<i>Meditations on First Philosophy</i> philosophy book by Descartes

Meditations on First Philosophy in which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated is a philosophical treatise by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641. The French translation was published in 1647 as Méditations Métaphysiques. The title may contain a misreading by the printer, mistaking animae immortalitas for animae immaterialitas, as suspected by A. Baillet.

John Locke

In striking contrast to Plato's use of idea [7] is that of John Locke. 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." [8] He said he regarded the book necessary to examine our own abilities and see what objects our understandings were, or were not, fitted to deal with. In his philosophy other outstanding figures followed in his footsteps — Hume and Kant in the 18th century, Arthur Schopenhauer in the 19th century, and Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Karl Popper in the 20th century. Locke always believed in good sense — not pushing things to extremes and on taking fully into account the plain facts of the matter. He considered his common-sense ideas "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?” [9] A simpler way of putting it is how do humans know ideas, and what are the different types of ideas. An idea to Locke “can simply mean some sort of brute experience.” [10] He shows that there are “No innate principles in the mind.”. [11] Thus, he concludes that “our ideas are all experiential in nature.” [12] 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.” [9] 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 much 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…” [13] Complex ideas, therefore, can either be modes, substances, or relations. Modes are when ideas are combined in order to convey new information. For instance, David Banach [14] gives the example of beauty as a mode. He says that it is the combination of color and form. Substances, however, is different. Substances are certain objects, that can either be dogs, cats, or tables. And relations represent the relationship between two or more ideas. In this way, Locke did, in fact, answer his own questions about ideas and humans.

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." [15] [16] 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'." [17] [18]

Immanuel Kant

"Modern Book Printing" from the Walk of Ideas Printing4 Walk of Ideas Berlin.JPG
"Modern Book Printing" from the Walk of Ideas

Immanuel Kant defines an idea as opposed to a concept . "Regulative ideas" are ideals that one must tend towards, but by definition may not be completely realized. Liberty, according to Kant, is an idea. The autonomy of the rational and universal subject is opposed to the determinism of the empirical subject. [19] 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 judgements of good common sense.e

Rudolf Steiner

Whereas Kant declares limits to knowledge ("we can never know the thing in itself"), in his epistemological work, Rudolf Steiner sees ideas as "objects of experience" which the mind apprehends, much as the eye apprehends light. In Goethean Science (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 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 and imagination, but also perceptual processes, whereas other psychologists confine the term to the first two groups. [15] One of Wundt's main concerns was to investigate conscious processes in their own context by experiment 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. [20]

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). [21] In "How to Make Our Ideas Clear" he proposed that a clear idea (in his study he uses concept 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 by scientists for some 250 years, i.e. that, he pointed, knowledge was an impersonal fact. Peirce contended that we acquire knowledge as participants, not as spectators. He felt "the real", sooner or later, is information acquired through ideas and knowledge with the application of logical reasoning would finally result in. 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 idea as "the reproduction with a more or less adequate image, of an object not actually present to the senses." [22] 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. [15]

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). 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 is a complex mental picture composed of the ideas of man and horse, that of a mermaid of a woman and a fish. [15]

In anthropology and the social sciences

Diffusion 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 , Richard Dawkins suggested applying biological evolutionary theories to the spread of ideas. He coined the term meme to describe an abstract unit of selection, equivalent to the gene in evolutionary biology.

Semantics

Samuel Johnson

James Boswell recorded Samuel Johnson's opinion about ideas. Johnson claimed that they are mental images or internal visual pictures. As such, they have no relation to words or the concepts which are designated by verbal names.

He was particularly indignant against the almost universal use of the word idea in the sense of notion or opinion when it is clear that idea can only signify something of which an image can be formed in the mind. We may have an idea or image of a mountain, a tree, a building; but we cannot surely have an idea or image of an argument or proposition. Yet we hear the sages of the law 'delivering their ideas upon the question under consideration;' and the first speakers in parliament 'entirely coinciding with the idea which has been ably stated by an honourable member;' — or 'reprobating an idea unconstitutional, and fraught with the most dangerous consequences to a great and free country.' Johnson called this 'modern cant.'

Boswell's Life of Johnson, Tuesday, 23 September 1777

Relationship between ideas and patents

On susceptibility to exclusive property

It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even a hereditary right to inventors. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance.

By a universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed an exclusive and stable property.

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He, who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at my mine, receives light without darkening me.

Those ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody. Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society. [23]

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac McPherson, 13 August 1813

To protect the cause of invention and innovation, the legal constructions of Copyrights and Patents were established. Patent 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

A picture of a lightbulb is often used to represent a person having a bright idea. Crystal Clear app ktip.svg
A picture of a lightbulb is often used to represent a person having a brightidea.

In some cases, authors can be granted limited legal monopolies on the manner in which certain works are expressed. This is known colloquially as copyright, although the term intellectual property 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 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 law in this respect: patents do grant monopolies on ideas (more on this below).

A copyright 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. [24] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28]

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

Notes

  1. 1 2 Audi, Robert, ed. (1995). Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 355. ISBN   0-521-40224-7.
  2. "What is an Idea?". AeyTimes Idea Journal. 2011.
  3. "Definition of idea in English". Oxford English Dictionary . Oxford University Press. 2014.
  4. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1973 ISBN   0-02-894950-1 ISBN   978-0-02-894950-5 Vol 4: 120–121
  5. Vol 4: 196–198
  6. Descartes's Ideas
  7. Vol 4: 487–503
  8. Locke, John (1689). "Introduction". An Essay Concerning Human Understanding  . § What Idea stands for. via Wikisource.
  9. 1 2 Locke, John. "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding." (n.d.): An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book, I: Innate Notions.
  10. Fitzpatrick, John R. Starting with Mill. Continuum, 2010. Starting With. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true &db=e862xna&AN=344063&site=ehost-live
  11. Locke, John. "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" (n.d.): An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Book, I: Innate Notions
  12. Sheridan, Patricia. Locke: A Guide for the Perplexed. Continuum, 2010. Continuum Guides for the Perplexed. EBSCOhost, nsearch.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e862xna&AN=344177&site=ehost-live
  13. Sheridan, Patricia. Locke: A Guide for the Perplexed. Continuum, 2010. Continuum Guides for the Perplexed. EBSCOhost, nsearch.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct= true&db=e862xna&AN=344177&site=ehost-live.
  14. Banach, David. "Locke on Ideas." Locke on Ideas. St. Anselm College, 2006
  15. 1 2 3 4 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Idea". Encyclopædia Britannica . 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 280–281.
  16. Vol 4: 74–90
  17. "Hume's Moral Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  18. Hume, David: A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects. (1739–40)
  19. Vol 4: 305–324
  20. Vol 8: 349–351
  21. Peirce's pragmatism
  22. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology
  23. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8Article 1, Section 8 (Electronic resources from the University of Chicago Press Books Division)
  24. 1 2 Protecting Ideas: Can Ideas Be Protected or Patented? – article by Gene Quinn at Ipwatchdog, February 15, 2014
  25. Copyright protection extends to a description, explanation, or illustration of an idea or system, assuming that the requirements of copyright law are met. Copyright in such a case protects the particular literary or pictorial expression chosen by the author. But it gives the copyright owner no exclusive rights concerning the idea, method or system involved. CIT : US Copyright Office, circular 31 reviewed: 01 ⁄ 2012 P
  26. In the case of copyright law, it is the work that realizes the idea that is protected (i.e. a document), and it is the act of recording that work that fixes copyright in the item itself. – CIT : The UK Copyright Service, Issued: 17th May 2007, Last amended: 17th May 2007
  27. (…) there is likely to be an infringement of copyright if the way the information is expressed in the copyrighted work used without the permission of the copyright owner and no exception to infringement applies to the use. This can sometimes occur even if the precise expression is not directly reproduced, but important elements of the work, such as the structure and arrangement of the information, are copied. – CIT : Australien Copyright Council, ACN 001 228 780, 2017
  28. 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 : Intellectual property rights, European Union, Updated 22/01/2018

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The Critique of Pure Reason is a book by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, in which the author seeks to determine the limits and scope of metaphysics. Also referred to as Kant's "First Critique", it was followed by the Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and the Critique of Judgment (1790). In the preface to the first edition, Kant explains that by a "critique of pure reason" he means a critique "of the faculty of reason in general, in respect of all knowledge after which it may strive independently of all experience" and that he aims to reach a decision about "the possibility or impossibility of metaphysics".

Innatism

Innatism is a philosophical and epistemological doctrine that holds that the mind is born with ideas/knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not a "blank slate" at birth, as early empiricists such as John Locke claimed. It asserts that not all knowledge is gained from experience and the senses. Plato and Descartes are prominent philosophers in the development of innatism and the notion that the mind is already born with ideas, knowledge and beliefs. Both philosophers emphasize that experiences are the key to unlocking this knowledge but not the source of the knowledge itself. Essentially, no knowledge is derived exclusively from one's experiences as empiricists like John Locke suggested.

<i>An Essay Concerning Human Understanding</i> book

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is a work by John Locke concerning the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. It first appeared in 1689 with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate filled later through experience. The essay was one of the principal sources of empiricism in modern philosophy, and influenced many enlightenment philosophers, such as David Hume and George Berkeley.

"Critique of the Kantian philosophy" is a criticism Arthur Schopenhauer appended to the first volume of his The World as Will and Representation (1818). He wanted to show Immanuel Kant's errors so that Kant's merits would be appreciated and his achievements furthered.

The philosophy of self defines, among other things, the conditions of identity that make one subject of experience distinct from all others. Contemporary discussions on the nature of the self are not thereby discussions on the nature of personhood, or personal identity. The self is sometimes understood as a unified being essentially connected to consciousness, awareness, and agency. Various theories on the metaphysical nature of the self have been proposed. Among them, the metaphysical nature of the self has been proposed to be that of an immaterial substance.

Objectivity is a philosophical concept of being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination. A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence, sometimes used synonymously with neutrality.

Common sense set of widely accepted beliefs

Common sense is sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge that is shared by nearly all people. The first type of common sense, good sense, can be described as "the knack for seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done." The second type is sometimes described as folk wisdom, "signifying unreflective knowledge not reliant on specialized training or deliberative thought." The two types are intertwined, as the person who has common sense is in touch with common-sense ideas, which emerge from the lived experiences of those commonsensical enough to perceive them.

Personal identity

In philosophy, the matter of personal identity deals with such questions as, "What makes it true that a person at one time is the same thing as a person at another time?" or "What kinds of things are we persons?" Generally, personal identity is the unique numerical identity of a person in the course of time. That is, the necessary and sufficient conditions under which a person at one time and a person at another time can be said to be the same person, persisting through time.

The concept of relation as a term used in general philosophy has a long and complicated history. One of the interests for the Greek philosophers lay in the number of ways in which a particular thing might be described, and the establishment of a relation between one thing and another was one of these. A second interest lay in the difference between these relations and the things themselves. This was to culminate in the view that the things in themselves could not be known except through their relations. Debates similar to these continue into modern philosophy and include further investigations into types of relation and whether relations exist only in the mind or the real world or both.

References

- 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
a.k.a. The Story of Philosophy, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2001, ISBN   0-7894-7994-X
(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 for 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 for Stoics, also here , and here , and here .
An Encyclopedia of World Literature
¹apage 774 Plato (c.427–348 BC)
²apage 779 Francesco Petrarca
³apage 770 Charles Sanders Peirce
¹bpage 849 the Renaissance

Further reading