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The Meaning and Definition of Idea

Idea comes from the Greek term idea which means vision or
contemplation. It is considered as the building blocks of knowledge and as an
intellectual representation or an image of a thing. It is also a product of the
intellect and an instrument of knowledge. It is a representation or the represence in the mind of the essence of a reality or the essence of thing in the
2. The Processes involved in the Formation of Idea
Simple apprehension is an act by which the mind forms a mental image
or concept of something without judging. It is where the mind intellectually
grasps an object. To apprehend is by taking objects to the mind and form to an
idea. The formation of an intellectual image is called conception and results as
an idea, concept or notion of the object.
Phantasm is an act of the mind where in it produces sensible images
through imagination
3. The Role of Senses, Imagination and Intellect in the Formation of Idea
All knowledge starts with the senses. We tend to observe and use as an
idea what we distinguished through our senses. Through what we sensed, we
try to imagine what is that we observed and gather those that we remember to
form an intellectual image. By our intellect, we use our mind to understand the
origin or relation to what we observed.
4. The Functions of Idea
Idea is considered as the element-subject or the predicate-of the
judgment in Logic. Because of idea, we have what we want to question and look
for its answers. The purpose of philosophy where to ask certain questions about
a thing comes all from the idea formed. Idea becomes an instrument of
knowledge as we look for data about this certain concept.
5. The Main Characteristics of Idea
Comprehension/Intension is defined as the collection of attributes or
elements that creates or forms an idea. It focuses on the significance and

meaning of an idea. While Extension/Denotation focuses on the collection of

objects which a concept is could be applied. It covers a general area of reality.

6. Terms as Expressions of Idea

A term is a word that denotes a particular object. Thus by this
denotation, term provides the object or the idea wherein it serves as a
representation for it. It also signifies the existence of something actual where
the ideas are all about.

7. Characteristics of Terms
Terms can be characterized to categorematic /significant which signifies
concepts; co-significant/syncategorematic who have an incomplete meaning
until joined with a significant word; univocal which is applied to their
subordinates with the exact same sense; analogical where it is partly the same
but also party different in their uses; equivocal when instances are under the
same term but of different meaning; collective is extended to each of the
individual which limited within its extension; and positive or negative which
emphasizes attributes and denies some.
8. Functions of Terms
A term is used to express a concept which shows and explains what kind
of a thing a thing is. It also points out the reality or entity which they represent
as it directly expresses the nature of the entity. In some way, terms could be
used to point out something without signifying what it is by using terms such
as this, that, those, etc.

9. Supposition of Terms

It is a variety of uses on how terms can be taken or interpreted. It is also

the property by which a term stands for a definite one of the various topics it
can stand for.
a. Material is the use of a term for the written or spoken sign itself and not
for what it signifies. It is a term standing for itself or for another word that
has a similar sound or written in the same way. It is also related to the
linguistic item of a term.
b. Formal- is the use of a term that focuses on what it signifies. It shows the
literal or real function of the signs.
1. Improper- metaphorically concludes something
2. Proper supposits for something where in it is supposed to be supposit
10.Functions of Supposition
Supposition is a relation between a term and the object it signifies.
It is a property of a term which is the product of speech and concept.
According to William of Sherwood, when a word supposits, it simply
significate. Meaning, its about the importance of a certain idea or
concept of an object.


Domingo, E. & Cabantac, R. (2014). Rudiments of Reasoning. Books Atbp. Publishing

Corp. Mandaluyong City
Maboloc, C. & Pascua II, E. (2016). Elements of Logic: An Integrative Approach (2nd ed.).
Rex Printing Company, Inc. Manila