In philosophy, the term idea has been used to cover a range of concepts. Ideas are often construed as mental representational images; i.e., images of some object. In other contexts, ideas are taken to be concepts, although abstract concepts do not necessarily appear as images.
Many philosophers have considered ideas to be a fundamental ontological category of being. The capacity to create and understand the meaning of ideas is considered
to be an essential and defining feature of human beings. In a popular sense, an
idea arises in a reflexive, spontaneous manner, even without thinking or serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the idea of a person or a place.
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