Wednesday June 27th 2012 Tim
Necessary for mental health to
regularly digress from those things that dominate the day to day
routine, and to do so, defining 'idea' is one of many valuable
exercises. Traditional definition gives a meaning to 'idea' that
offers it up as a mental activity, and generally the definition promotes
words like 'product' or 'concept' so as to suggest that 'Idea' contains
a constructive element, or at least a potential for usefulness.
And there is that area of debate which suggests that all things are
'idea' because that's as close as we can ever get to a thing.
Which means, that try as I might I can never actually be a table or a
bucket of ice cream, even if through some error of judgment, I might
believe the 'idea' that I am a table or a bucket of ice cream.
In the political arena,
'idea' can quickly become dogma, or its uglier cousin idealism. Which
is to say that I can call a table a bucket of ice cream, and as long as I do
it loudly enough, and as long as I can persuade others, a table will become
a bucket of ice cream. Then time comes for ice cream consumption, a
moment that should have a precision of qualities that might include a spoon
as well as a table, but which certainly includes memory of previous
encounters with similar qualities whatever name they might collectively have
been known by. Or as Kant would have it, 'idea' is no more than an
object of reason that makes some sort of sense but isn't necessarily fact.
And how much better I might understand others, if I believed him, instead of
daily being made speechless by rage.