We explain what ideas are, their history and how they are classified. Also, what are their characteristics, importance and how they are formed.
Ideas are understood to be mental representations originating in the human mind that can be the product of reasoning or imagination. It is considered the basic, fundamental act of understanding.
The human ability to formulate ideas and contemplate objects mentally is closely related to concepts, creativity and the application of the intellect. For this reason, they constitute the bases of any form of knowledge or an idea .
In the contemporary world, where knowledge has proven to be a powerful tool for scientific-technological development, ideas are considered a valuable, original, worthy of attention . The various professional worlds are organized to treasure, nurture, and harness new ideas.
The word "idea" comes from Latin, and in turn from Greek , meaning "form" or "appearance".
It is a derivative of the Greek root eido , which would be equivalent to "see".
This root is also present in the Latin verb video (“to see”).
The latter is related to other terms in ancient languages in the same sense, such as Sanskrit Véda ("I know") .
From such early times comes the equivalence between the idea and the vision , in the sense that to devise is to "see with the mind."
Ideas are concerned with different fields of knowledge, and especially different philosophical traditions . Each of these has formulated its own definition of ideas, thus establishing four main points of view in this regard, which are:
The concept of idea began to be used in antiquity , in different philosophical and religious traditions , interested in the nature of thought and reason. Initially, they were attributed to a "divine breath" or inspiration from the gods. This was the case in the Semitic ( Jewish ), Greco-Roman and Hindu traditions , to name a few examples.
During the Middle Ages, a notion of idea prevailed, coming mainly from the Platonic tradition , reincarnated mainly in the Christianity that dominated the West at that time. This concept reappeared in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but with a new meaning.
The new notion of idea was based mainly on the studies of John Locke and René Descartes . These and other perspectives of the time had in common the valuation of ideas as an expression of human reason , which was a new universal value to replace faith.
Later David Hume introduced the distinction between ideas and impressions , thus planting the differentiation between ideas and feelings. During the 18th and 19th centuries this differentiation was the basis of the opposing philosophical and aesthetic movements of the Enlightenment and Romanticism .
One of the fundamental precepts of Plato's philosophy is known as the Theory of Ideas or the Theory of Forms . The Greek philosopher postulated that the world is divided into two planes:
In this allegory, the real world is behind the prisoners' back , where the cave entrance (or a campfire, depending on the version) is located where people pass by carrying various objects in their arms. The shadow of these objects is projected on the wall and the prisoners take them for real and true, incapable as they are of knowing the real objects.
Only by pursuing knowledge and universal truth can one come, according to the philosopher, to contemplate this ideal world. However, as he explains in his allegory, human beings are used to seeing the "shadows" of the sensible world. That is why we disbelieve whoever tries to show us the luminous path of intelligible objects.
We know, for example, the neurons are connected to each other to form neural networks . In addition, they communicate by transmitting electrical impulses through atoms of lithium and other metals , generating electrochemical reactions.
These communications occur according to specific patterns and in specific regions of the brain . But what exactly these patterns mean, or how thought might emerge from them, is a mystery yet to be solved.
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