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Thought


Thought refers to ideas or arrangements of ideas that are the result of the process of thinking. Though thinking is an activity considered essential to humanity, there is no general consensus as to how we define or understand it.

Because thought underlies many human actions and interactions, understanding its physical and metaphysical origins, processes, and effects has been a longstanding goal of many academic disciplines including linguistics, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, artificial intelligence, biology, sociology and cognitive science.

Thinking allows humans to make sense of, interpret, represent or model the world they experience, and to make predictions about that world. It is therefore helpful to an organism with needs, objectives, and desires as it makes plans or otherwise attempts to accomplish those goals.

The word thought comes from Old English þoht, or geþoht, from stem of þencan "to conceive of in the mind, consider".

The word "thought" may mean,:

Definitions may or may not require that thought

Definitions of thought may also be derived directly or indirectly from theories of thought.

What is most thought-provoking in these thought-provoking times, is that we are still not thinking.

The phenomenology movement in philosophy saw a radical change in the way in which we understand thought. Martin Heidegger's phenomenological analyses of the existential structure of man in Being and Time cast new light on the issue of thinking, unsettling traditional cognitive or rational interpretations of man which affect the way we understand thought. The notion of the fundamental role of non-cognitive understanding in rendering possible thematic consciousness informed the discussion surrounding Artificial Intelligence during the 1970s and 1980s.

Phenomenology, however, is not the only approach to thinking in modern Western philosophy. Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e. the relationship of the mind to the body, is commonly seen as the central issue in philosophy of mind, although there are other issues concerning the nature of the mind that do not involve its relation to the physical body.



  • "Outline of a theory of thought-processes and thinking machines" (Caianiello) – thought processes and mental phenomena modeled by sets of mathematical equations
  • Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking (Hofstadter and Sander) – a theory built on analogies
  • The Neural Theory of Language and Thought (Feldman and Lakoff) – neural modeling of language and spatial relations
  • ThoughtForms—The Structure, Power, and Limitations of Thought (Baum) – a theory built on mental models
  • Unconscious Thought Theory, – thought that is not conscious
  • Linguistics theories - The Stuff of Thought (Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky) – The linguistic and cognitive theory that thought is based on syntactic and linguistic recursion processes
  • a single product of thinking or a single idea ("My first thought was ‘no.’")
  • the product of mental activity ("Mathematics is a large body of thought.")
  • the act or system of thinking ("I was frazzled from too much thought.")
  • the capacity to think, reason, imagine, and so on ("All her thought was applied to her work.")
  • the consideration of or reflection on an idea ("The thought of death terrifies me.")
  • recollection or contemplation ("I thought about my childhood.")
  • half-formed or imperfect intention ("I had some thought of going.")
  • anticipation or expectation ("She had no thought of seeing him again.")
  • consideration, attention, care, or regard ("He took no thought of his appearance" and "I did it without thinking.")
  • judgment, opinion, or belief ("According to his thought, honesty is the best policy.")
  • the ideas characteristic of a particular place, class, or time ("Greek thought")
  • the state of being conscious of something ("It made me think of my grandmother.")
  • tending to believe in something, especially with less than full confidence ("I think that it will rain, but I am not sure.")
  • "Outline of a theory of thought-processes and thinking machines" (Caianiello) – thought processes and mental phenomena modeled by sets of mathematical equations
  • Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking (Hofstadter and Sander) – a theory built on analogies
  • The Neural Theory of Language and Thought (Feldman and Lakoff) – neural modeling of language and spatial relations
  • ThoughtForms—The Structure, Power, and Limitations of Thought (Baum) – a theory built on mental models
  • Unconscious Thought Theory, – thought that is not conscious
  • Linguistics theories - The Stuff of Thought (Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky) – The linguistic and cognitive theory that thought is based on syntactic and linguistic recursion processes
  • Bayne, Tim - Thought, New Scientist, 21 September 2013 - 7-page feature article on the topic
  • Anil K. Rajvanshi - "Nature of Human Thought", Google Books [1], 2010.
  • The dictionary definition of at Wiktionary
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Wikipedia

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