representation of something.
Note that ideas may also represent falsehoods and impossibilities. Ideas
represent fantasies, which may be
real if they are not
false or impossible. Also, one may have ideas one cannot now, at least,
put into words. An example is the tip of the tongue phenomenon: One knows one
knows a term for something, but cannot now recall it.
As defined one needs not to be conscious of ideas that one has, and indeed it
makes much sense to assume that one may represent many things one is not
conscious of that one represents. If one has a
conscious idea, i.e. an idea
one is conscious of, it makes sense to call it a
Note that human beings can have quite positive ideas about non-existing or
impossible things, as witnessed (!) by mermaids or what M.C. Escher's drawings
Other noteworthy human ideas - apart from a deus absconditus - are the
infinities of infinities opened up or suggested by Cantorian set theory; the
square root of minus 1 that enters complex numbers; or n-dimemsional
geometries with n>3.
In brief: The human mind is able to imagine more and other than there is or
can be, and reason rationally about these entities as well.