Monday, December 04, 2006

Individual Thought??

So it's my week to track the blog and that means I get to come up with a creative idea to stimulate thought and discussion. My friend Jenny and I were talking a couple of weeks back and she brought up the idea that no one could ever have any original thoughts because someone, at some point in time, at some location in the world has already had that thought or something that could resemble it. At first I disagreed, but her argument became more and more convincing so I want to know what you think. Can a person truly have original thought, something that no one else has thought before? Can those thoughts become knowledge? If so, how? Is this a comforting or disturbing concept? Think about it, write about it, I want to know what you think.....and are those thoughts original?


IBTromboneGirl_42 said...

OK, first power to the two of us who got bad weeks to track (well, I guess we don't have much to track anyway...)
Second, original thought had to start somewhere and with advances in all the AOKs there has to be constant new, orig. thought
I think the thoughts become knowledge (PJTBs) when they are, properly justified and proved to be true. I think that means that someone else has to have the thought as well, after the first person. I think this is...interesting
Given my above description...if what I say is true then I am not thinking originally but if it is not then I am which makes it a paradox? circle logic? there's some term...

ELanciotti said...

Well thats a hard one, but I would have to argue that we do have original thought. So what if some person in some other time or place has thought it already, that doesn't mean you have. The thought is original to you, and like renee said as long as it is a properly justified true belief it then can be your knowledge.

Sam I Am said...

original thought is overrated

...thinking is something intangible so you can't know if someone else came up with the idea before you, unless the idea is published; "originality" is thus defined as whether that thought is published or not (or posted on blogs); so, there is no way to verify originality otherwise

...something doesn't need to be original thought to be knowledge and vice versa; ex. college admissions essay topics

GaoistProphet said...

I don't know, maybe I'm missing something here, but this question seems rather easy to answer. Arn't most people with mental "illnessess" such as OCD, (whatever)phobia, Schizophrenia, or any psychosis (defined as a mental state altering the way a person percieves reality) prone to original thought?
A dude with Schizophrenia thinks that Yydrassil the world tree has fallen and crushed the defiant heros of ragnorok under its giant butterfly wing... rather original, no?

Also, I don't see how invention could take place if orginal thought didn't exist... somewhere in there someone must have added their own bit of intuition, unless you can argue that all people have the innate and, indeed, instinctual drive to create spaceshuttles.

pichachoo said...

I agree that we have to have original thoughts. How would thoughts or theories come around in the first place if someone didn't have it in the first place? Here, I'll give you an example that I'm almost positive no one has thought of. Original thought of the day: An elephant can eat a toothpick on Mars only when he weighs less than three thousand pounds; otherwise, he will be doomed to live an exostential life within the confines of an ice prison on Pluto, where purple monkeys are the only guards, and all there is to eat is Fluffy Puff Marshmallows. See, I win.