abstract ideas
Concept that was the focus of dispute between Locke and Berkeley . Locke had highlighted the problem of the way in which a particular idea, as it might be of a person or a cow, comes to stand for just the right class of things: persons or cows in general. His solution was to postulate an abstraction of the general kind away from the particular qualities of examples, until eventually we have an idea of the right degree of generality: one that encompasses all and only persons, or cows. Berkeley took the greatest exception to this account, arguing instead that all ideas are perfectly particular, and only become general in the use we make of them. His animosity arose partly because he believed that the doctrine of abstraction enabled Locke to deceive himself that we can make sense of things that are actually unintelligible: objects with no colour, inanimate causes, and qualities of things dissociated from the sensory effects they have on us.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Abstract — Ab stract (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw. See {Trace}.] 1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The more abstract . . . we are from the body. Norris. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abstract mathematics — Abstract Ab stract (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw. See {Trace}.] 1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The more abstract . . . we are from the body. Norris. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abstract numbers — Abstract Ab stract (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw. See {Trace}.] 1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The more abstract . . . we are from the body. Norris. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abstract terms — Abstract Ab stract (#; 277), a. [L. abstractus, p. p. of abstrahere to draw from, separate; ab, abs + trahere to draw. See {Trace}.] 1. Withdraw; separate. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The more abstract . . . we are from the body. Norris. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abstract — ab|stract1 [ˈæbstrækt] adj [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of abstrahere, from abs away + trahere to pull ] 1.) based on general ideas or principles rather than specific examples or real events = ↑theoretical abstract… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • abstract — 01. I don t really like [abstract] art, such as that done by Picasso. I much prefer something more realist. 02. It can be quite difficult to really define [abstract] ideas, such as love or friendship. 03. One s capacity for [abstract] thinking is …   Grammatical examples in English

  • abstract — ab|stract1 [ æb,strækt, æb strækt ] adjective ** 1. ) abstract ideas exist as thoughts in the mind, and are not related to physical objects or real events and actions: abstract idea/concept/principle/notion: Mathematics is concerned with… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • abstract — I UK [ˈæbstrækt] / US [ˈæbˌstrækt] / US [æbˈstrækt] adjective ** 1) abstract ideas exist as thoughts in the mind, and are not related to physical objects or real events and actions abstract idea/concept/principle/notion: Mathematics is concerned… …   English dictionary

  • abstract — [ˈæbstrækt] adj 1) abstract ideas are not related to physical objects or real events 2) abstract art expresses ideas or feelings, rather than showing the exact appearance of people or things abstraction [æbˈstrækʃ(ə)n] noun [C/U] …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • Abstract nonsense — Abstract nonsense, or general abstract nonsense, alternatively general nonsense, is a popular term used by mathematicians to describe certain kinds of arguments and concepts in category theory or applications.HistoryThe term predates the… …   Wikipedia

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