What Is A ‘Thought’, Socrates?

Socrates, [469-399 BCE],
The Louvre, Paris

When Thaetetus asks Socrates to describe ‘ Thinking’, Socrates replies:

As a discourse that the mind carries on with itself about any subject it is considering.

You must take this explanation as coming from an ignoramus. but I have a notion that, when the mind is thinking, it is simply talking to itself, asking questions and answering them, and saying yes or no.

When it reaches a decision-which may come slowly or in a sudden rush-when doubt is over and the two voices affirm the same thing, then we call that its ‘judgment.’

So I should describe thinking as discourse, and judgment as a statement pronounced, not aloud to someone else but silently to oneself.


I can silently unfold the phrase: ‘Elvis Lives!’ in my mind syllable by syllable in complete comprehension of its meaning.

Mental Verbalization is ‘I’ talking to ‘Me’. Monologue as Dialogue.

A particular, often paralyzing bain of the Reflective Man.


Japanese Zen Training especially in the Martial Arts seeks a state it calls Mushin [‘No-Mind, No-Thought’]. The Chinese synonym, Wuxin, begins with the character for ‘Not’.

Importantly, there is absolutely nothing ‘wrong’ with Thought, the notions of ‘right and wrong’ being themselves binary expressions in Thought.

I note this because there are numerous Dharmic schools that make the muting of ‘Thought’ a measure of success, a consequential error.

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Categorized as The Loop
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