On the newness of ideas
What's a “new” idea? Related: what's an “original” thought?
Lavoisier once said: “Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme”—meaning “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.”
We keep on chasing newness and originality, but is everything a remix? While Lavoisier's quote does apply to nature's fundamental principles (physics), is it true of the world of ideas (metaphysics)?
Beyond the romantic idea of breakthrough eureka moments of inspiration, where discoveries emerge from thing air, scientific progress is mostly driven by the combination of existing knowledge. However, it can be argued that the resulting ideas can be new and original (while the matter of the discovery exists whereas we know it or not, a discovery itself doesn't exist until it's been discovered)