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Single Idea 4830

[catalogued under 18. Thought / C. Content / 2. Ideas]

Full Idea

By 'idea', I mean the mental conception which is formed by the mind as a thinking thing (this is not a passive perception with regard to the object, but expresses an activity of the mind).

Gist of Idea

An 'idea' is a mental conception which is actively formed by the mind in thinking


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Def 3)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.82

A Reaction

This is interesting as a seventeenth century attempt to grapple with the nature of thought. Spinoza sees it as of the essence of mind, since it is what the mind contributes, rather than what happens to the mind when it experiences.