AskDefine | Define thoughts

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Plural of thought


Extensive Definition

Thought and thinking are mental forms and processes, respectively ("thought" is both.) Thinking allows beings to model the world and to deal with it effectively according to their objectives, plans, ends and desires. Words referring to similar concepts and processes include cognition, sentience, consciousness, idea, and imagination.
Thinking involves the cerebral manipulation of information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions.
Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is part of cognitive psychology.

Basic process

The basic mechanics of the human brain cells reflect a process of pattern matching or rather recognition. In a "moment of reflection", new situations and new experiences are judged against recalled ones and judgements are made. In order to make these judgements, the intellect maintains present experience and sorts relevant past experience. It does this while keeping present and past experience distinct and separate. The intellect can mix, match, merge, sift, and sort concepts, perceptions, and experience. This process is called reasoning. Logic is the science of reasoning. The awareness of this process of reasoning is access consciousness (see philosopher Ned Block).

Aids to thinking

  1. Use of models, symbols, diagrams and pictures.
  2. Use of abstraction to simplify the effort of thinking.
  3. Use of metasyntactic variables to simplify the effort of naming.
  4. Use of iteration and recursion to converge on a concept.
  5. Limitation of attention to aid concentration and focus on a concept. Use of peace and quiet to aid concentration.
  6. Goal setting and goal revision. Simply letting the concept percolate in the subconscious, and waiting for the concept to re-surface.
  7. Talking with like-minded people. Resorting to communication with others, if this is allowed.
  8. Working backward from the goal.
  9. Desire for learning.
  10. Always be objective.


  1. Self-delusions: inability to confront relevant issues (roadblocks).
  2. Prejudice can lead to flawed thinking


  • Eric Baum (2004). What is Thought, Chapter Two: The Mind is a Computer Program. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-02548-5
thoughts in Arabic: فكر
thoughts in Catalan: Pensament
thoughts in German: Denken
thoughts in Estonian: Mõtlemine
thoughts in Spanish: Pensamiento (mente)
thoughts in Esperanto: Pensado
thoughts in Persian: فكر
thoughts in French: Pensée
thoughts in Galician: Pensamento
thoughts in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Pensamento
thoughts in Indonesian: Pikiran
thoughts in Italian: Pensiero
thoughts in Icelandic: Hugsun
thoughts in Hebrew: חשיבה
thoughts in Latin: Cogitatio
thoughts in Latvian: Domāšana
thoughts in Lithuanian: Mintis
thoughts in Hungarian: Szellem
thoughts in Macedonian: Мисла
thoughts in Dutch: Denken
thoughts in Norwegian: Tenke
thoughts in Japanese: 思考
thoughts in Korean: 생각
thoughts in Polish: Myślenie
thoughts in Portuguese: Pensamento
thoughts in Russian: Мышление (психология)
thoughts in Albanian: Mendimi
thoughts in Simple English: Thought
thoughts in Serbian: Размишљање
thoughts in Finnish: Ajattelu
thoughts in Swedish: Tänkande
thoughts in Turkish: Düşünce
thoughts in Ukrainian: Думка
thoughts in Yiddish: טראכטן
thoughts in Chinese: 思维
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