Concept, Conception. Conception is the faculty, and also the act, of
forming a notion of the perceived object. Mere perception would not
amount to this. Plainly it would do no more than reveal to us the
existence of something external to the perceiving mind, would do nothing
towards an answer to the question what that object is. Conception has
been called by most English logical writers by the name of apprehension.
Both are sufficiently significant, but conception has a larger grasp,
and gives us the paronym concept, so that it is on the whole to be
preferred. It is good to have separate words for a faculty, and an
individual product of such faculty.
Accordingly concept has been of late introduced to
denote a separate act of conception. I should rather say
re-introduced, for it was thus employed by our older writers in the form
conceit. That which is essentially the same word with concept has,
however, gone into another groove of meaning, and consequently could not
be conveniently revived in its old sense.
A concept expressed is called a term, whether consisting of one word or