The souls of men returning to earth bring back a latent memory of ideas, which were known to them in a former state.
The magnificent figure under which the nature of the soul is described has not much to do with the popular doctrine of the ideas. Yet there is one little trait in the description which shows that they are present to Plato's mind, namely, the remark that the soul, which had seen truths in the form of the universal, cannot again return to the nature of an animal.
"Whether others,have this wonderful faculty of abstracting their ideas, they best can tell: for myself, I dare be confident I have it not.
There has been a late excellent and deservedly esteemed philosopher who, no doubt, has given it very much countenance, by seeming to think the having abstract general ideas is what puts the widest difference in point of understanding betwixt man and beast.
But this could not be the case with-the idea
of a nature more perfect than myself; for to receive it from nothing was a thing manifestly impossible; and, because it is not less repugnant that the more perfect should be an effect of, and dependence on the less perfect, than that something should proceed from nothing, it was equally impossible that I could hold it from myself: accordingly, it but remained that it had been placed in me by a nature which was in reality more perfect than mine, and which even possessed within itself all the perfections of which I could form any idea
; that is to say, in a single word, which was God.
"Yes, monsieur le cardinal, and that is why I venture to call the idea
courageous as well as devoted.
The virtues are based on justice, of which common honesty in buying and selling is the shadow, and justice is based on the idea
of good, which is the harmony of the world, and is reflected both in the institutions of States and in motions of the heavenly bodies.
What else does the history of ideas
prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed?
It's an idea
. Wait till you see Sarah, she'll get the idea
The latter method of obtaining the desired intelligence was dilatory and unsatisfactory; besides, I had an insurmountable aversion to the idea
of engaging myself in my loathsome task in my father's house while in habits of familiar intercourse with those I loved.
So long as the quality and the low prices can be maintained, here are two inexhaustible sources of wealth for the canton, which suggested to my mind the idea
of establishing three fairs in the year.
"Then," suggested the idea
, with a blush for its own absurdity, "why not go on pilgrimage and seek her?
Just as he must immediately howl, he was aware that the idea
, an entirely different idea
, was there, in the innermost centre of the quick-thinkingness of him, with all its compulsion.
I have no idea
how long Lop-Ear and I wandered in the land north of the river.
The most fundamental idea
, the idea
of existence, has not been received by me through sensation; indeed, there is no special sense-organ for the transmission of such an idea