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Single Idea 19759

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind]

Full Idea

General ideas can be introduced into the mind only with the aid of words.

Gist of Idea

Only words can introduce general ideas into the mind


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality [1754], Part I)

A Reaction

Hm. How did humanity manage to invent general words. Do animals not have general thoughts, e.g. about food, shelter, predators? Roussea goes on to deny that monkeys see nuts as a 'type' of fruit.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.50