Friday, September 22, 2006

What is an Idea?

In philosophy, the term "idea" is common to all languages and periods. Idea has been used as a term with many different shades of meaning.

One historical view is that ideas exist in a realm separate or distinct from our everyday real life. This historical view states that we discover ideas in the same way that we discover the real world.

Plato asserted that there is realm of Forms or Ideas, which exist independently of anyone who may have thought of these ideas. Material things are "imperfect and transient reflections or instantiations of the perfect and unchanging ideas".

Hume's "idea" is a vague mental reconstruction of perceptions with the perceptual process being described as an impression.

Locke defines "idea" as whatever is the object of understanding when a man thinks.

Most people in the modern times agree that an idea is an image existing or formed in the mind. Ideas give rise to concepts, which are the basis for knowledge in science, philosophy or business.

Concepts help to integrate apparently unrelated characteristics or phenomena into viable hypothesis and theories as the basic building blocks of science. Many people have introduced concept maps that help students to learn the inter-relationships between various concepts.

Inventions also represent a radical breakthrough in science or technology which expands the boundaries of human knowledge. Usually an invention is an object, process, or technique which displays an element of novelty. An invention can be based on existing objects or ideas that is modified or transformed into a new invention.

Patent law regulates the construction and ownership of inventions based on novelty or incremental improvements to existing inventions. Patents have a direct relationship to ideas.

Successful people think an idea is a very important business start which requires several tests.

Tests help form concepts and project benefits and determine idea exclusivity and validity. The ideas, concepts and benefits are organized into a summary and then expanded into a business plan. This how most businesses start with a new idea.

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