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Related to Thought: Thought disorder

THOUGHT. The operation of the mind. No one can be punished for his mere thoughts however wicked they may be. Human laws cannot reach them, first, because they are unknown; and, secondly, unless made manifest by some action, they are not injurious to any one; but when they manifest themselves, then the act, which is the consequence, may be punished. Dig. 50 16, 225.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
Speaking in popular and unphilosophical terms, we may say that the content of a thought is supposed to be something in your head when you think the thought, while the object is usually something in the outer world.
"Then the children's illnesses, that everlasting apprehension; then bringing them up; evil propensities" (she thought of little Masha's crime among the raspberries), "education, Latin--it's all so incomprehensible and difficult.
He thought he sprang to his feet not even startled.
"It's nicer to think dear, pretty thoughts and keep them in one's heart, like treasures.
On a Sunday morning when he could not sleep because of his thoughts he arose and went to walk in the streets.
Yet when we write with ease and come out into the free air of thought, we seem to be assured that nothing is easier than to continue this communication at pleasure.
I thought it as well then to say what Strickland had suggested.
"I had only one pretty thought for the book," she said, "I was to give it a happy ending." She said this so timidly that I was about to melt to her when she added with extraordinary boldness, "The little white bird was to bear an olive-leaf in its mouth."
"If that won't tell him the truth," she thought, "nothing will."
And a great many voices all said together ('like the chorus of a song,' thought Alice), 'Don't keep him waiting, child!
Featherstone grunted: he could not deny that an ordinary sort of girl like her might be expected to be useful, so he thought of another rejoinder, disagreeable enough to be always apropos.
When she had thought of this, she fastened up her hair and began to wash: it seemed more possible to her to go downstairs and try to behave as usual.