Author Topic: What is an idea?  (Read 416 times)

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Offline stands2reason

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What is an idea?
« on: March 10, 2017, 05:44:03 PM »
There is something to be said that we humans, with our advanced languages, have the ability to express an idea. More interestingly, we can even express ideas without accepting them.

Are ideas inherently a result of language?

Is there a sense in which an idea can be so abstract that it exists but there is no way it can be described?

Offline tralfaz

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Re: What is an idea?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 11:37:00 PM »
Are ideas inherently a result of language?

Personally, I thing language is the result of ideas.  The purpose of language is to pass an existing idea to another person.  An individual may not have the ability to describe the idea because of a lack of vocabulary or understanding.  On the other hand, the idea may be so vague that it is only an impression that gives a slight emotional reaction.  On the third hand, the idea may be so large that it overwhelms the individual's ability to explain it adequately to someone else.  I guess I don't really accept that no person anywhere is capable of describing this one idea.

That's just my opinion.  I'm no linguist/philosopher. 

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: What is an idea?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 07:54:41 AM »
Are ideas inherently a result of language?

Personally, I thing language is the result of ideas.  The purpose of language is to pass an existing idea to another person.  An individual may not have the ability to describe the idea because of a lack of vocabulary or understanding.  On the other hand, the idea may be so vague that it is only an impression that gives a slight emotional reaction.  On the third hand, the idea may be so large that it overwhelms the individual's ability to explain it adequately to someone else.  I guess I don't really accept that no person anywhere is capable of describing this one idea.

That's just my opinion.  I'm no linguist/philosopher.
Most human language is imprecise, but it "points us" in the direction, at which point the receiver has to pick it up or ask for clarification.

For instance, I doubt that any of us would agree on the exact lines between compassion, empathy and sympathy, but all three "point" in a particular direction. If you use one of the three, I "get the drift," and if I needed to narrow it down for my own sake, additional info, more communication, is required.
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