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To what extent can an idea be unique?

Are all ideas just the combination of known principles or trial and error? Examples and peronal experiences are good as well as just opinions. This question could be expanded to any thought at all, not just ideas. If there is a thought that is almost entirely unique, there can't be any previous oppposite idea. What I mean is if an idea is the exact opposite of another it isn't really original. It just stated the opposite. If an entirely original idea can be made, how will it be formed?

I have some opinions currently, but I'm sure they'll change after your comments. Please ask me to expand or clarify if needed.

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  • Aug 8 2013: Part 2:
    So, in this crowded room of the mind, how could a unique idea possibly be conceived? Let’s call the supposedly unique idea “x.” From the time x enters the mind to the time it exits, x would have been shaped by memory, memory of 7th grade philosophy class, a conversation at a bus station, an argument over Kant. And, thus, this idea is not unique; it is merely a combination of known principles.

    Therefore, for now, I am convinced that an idea cannot be unique; however, I think we should challenge ourselves to think about when and where a unique idea could possibly be conceived, if there is such a place? Perhaps immediately after the creation of the world, for those who adhere to that philosophy, or after a period of intense meditation…regardless, these ideas could certainly be the most interesting and revolutionary of our society.

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