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A tip(idea) is an image existing or formed in the mind. The human capacity to contemplate tip(idea)s is associated with the capacity for reason, self-reflection, and the ability to acquire and apply intellect. Ideas give rise to concepts, which are the basis for any kind of knowledge whether science or philosophy.
However, in a popular sense, an tip(idea) can arise even when there is no serious reflection, for example, when we talk about the tip(idea) of a person or a place.
This source goes on to say that given the fact that the human mind in mature life is in possession of such universal tip(idea)s, or concepts, the question arises: How have they been attained? Plato conceives them to be an inheritance through reminiscence from a previous state of existence.
Sundry Christian philosophers of ultra-spiritualist tendencies have described them as innate, planted in the soul at its creation by a Diety. Empiricists and Materialists have endeavoured to explain all our intellectual tip(idea)s as refined products of our sensuous faculties.
For a fuller account and criticism of the various theories we must refer the reader to any of the Catholic textbooks on psychology. We can give here but the briefest outline of the doctrine usually taught in the Catholic schools of philosophy. Man has a double set of cognitive faculties sensuous and intellectual.
All knowledge starts from sensuous experience. There are no innate tips(ideas). External objects stimulate the senses and effect a modification of the sensuous faculties which results in a sensuous percipient act, a sensation or perception by which the mind becomes cognizant of the concrete individual object, e.g., some sensible quality of the thing acting on the sense. But, because sense and intellect are powers of the same soul, the latter is now wakened, as it were, into activity, and lays hold of its own proper object in the sensuous presentation. The object is the essence, or nature of the thing, omitting its individualizing conditions.
The act by which the intellect thus apprehends the abstract essence, when viewed as a modification of the intellect, was called by the Schoolmen species intelligibilis; when viewed as the realization or utterance of the thought of the object to itself by the intellect, they termed it the verbum mentale. In this first stage it prescinds alike from universality and individuality.
But the intellect does not stop there. It recognizes its object as capable of indefinite multiplication. In other words it generalizes the abstract essence and thereby constitutes it a reflex or formally universal concept, or tip(idea). By comparison, reflection, and generalization, the elaboration of the tip(idea) is continued until we attain to the distinct and precise concepts, or tip(idea)s, which accurate science demands.