Notion (philosophy)


Notion (philosophy)

A notion in philosophy is a reflection in the mind of real objects and phenomena in their essential features and relations. Notions are usually described in terms of scope and content. This is because notions are often created in response to empirical observations (or experiments) of covarying trends among variables.

Primitive Notion

A primitive notion is used in logic or mathematics as an undefined term or concept at the foundation of an axiomatic system to be constructed. However, in philosophy the term primitive notion has historical content. For example, Gottfried Leibniz wrote De Alphabeto Cogitationum Humanarum, an alphabet for human thought. Jaap Maat (2004) reviewed Leibniz for Philosophical Languages of the 17th Century. According to Leibniz, "The alphabet of human thought is a catalogue of primitive notions, or those we cannot render clearer by any definitions." Maat explains, "a thing which is known without other intermediate notions can be considered to be primitive," and further, "a primitive notion is said to be conceived through itself".

Another example is in the Meditations of Rene Decartes. In 1992 Daniel Garber published Descartes' Metaphysical Physics. On page 92 he notes, "[Descartes'] claim that mind-body unity is a primitive notion on a par with the primitive notions of thinking and extended substance..." Desmond M. Clarke, on page 38 of his book Descartes Theory of Mind quotes the philosopher:

I think that there are certain primitive notions in us which are like originals. There are very few such notions. For apart from the most general notions of being, number, duration, etc which apply to everything that we can conceive, we have only the notion of extension that is specifically for the body, and from that flow the notions of shape and movement; and for the soul on its own we have only the concept of thought, which includes perceptions of the understanding and inclinations of the will. Finally, for the body and soul together, we have only the concept of their union, on which depends the notion of the soul's power to move the body and the body's power to act on the soul by causing its sensations and passions.

See also

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Notion — may refer to: Notion (ancient city) Notion (philosophy) Notions (sewing), small articles used in sewing and haberdashery Notion (software), music composition and performance computer program Notion (window manager), Ion (window manager) clone… …   Wikipedia

  • Philosophy of history — or historiosophy is an area of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. Furthermore, it speculates as to a possible teleological end to its development that is, it asks if there is a design, purpose, directive… …   Wikipedia

  • Philosophy of language — is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language. As a topic, the philosophy of language for Analytic Philosophers is concerned with four central problems: the nature of meaning, language use, language cognition, and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Philosophy of Common Sense —     Philosophy of Common Sense     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Philosophy of Common Sense     The term common sense designates     (1) a special faculty, the sensus communis of the Aristotelean and Scholastic philosophy;     (2) the sum of original …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy — • Detailed article on the history of the love of wisdom Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Philosophy     Philosophy     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy of science — is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science. The field is defined by an interest in one of a set of traditional problems or an interest in central or foundational concerns in science. In addition to these central… …   Wikipedia

  • Philosophy of space and time — is the branch of philosophy concerned with the issues surrounding the ontology, epistemology, and character of space and time. While such ideas have been central to philosophy from its inception, the philosophy of space and time was both an… …   Wikipedia

  • Philosophy of Immanuel Kant —     Philosophy of Immanuel Kant     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Philosophy of Immanuel Kant     Kant s philosophy is generally designated as a system of transcendental criticism tending towards Agnosticism in theology, and favouring the view that… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy as Cultural Politics — Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers is a book is by Richard Rorty, Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus, at Stanford University.This book is a compilation of selected philosophical papers written by Richard Rorty has… …   Wikipedia

  • philosophy —    Philosophy in the early years of the twentieth century was heavily influenced by two different traditions. On the one hand, there was the legacy of the Europeanizing movement known as Krausism, a kind of secular humanism with a religious tinge …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.