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Single Idea 20363

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind]

Full Idea

Every concept arises through the setting equal of the unequal. Just as it is certain that one leaf is never wholly equal to another, so it is certain that the concept leaf is formed by arbitrarily discarding these individual differences.

Gist of Idea

Leaves are unequal, but we form the concept 'leaf' by discarding their individual differences


Friedrich Nietzsche (On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense [1872]), quoted by John Richardson - Nietzsche's System 2.1.1 n28

A Reaction

Nietzsche adds an interesting aspect to psychological abstraction, of abstracting away the differences between things, which we might label as the (further) capacity for Equalisation. If two cars differ only in a blemish, we abstract away the blemish.

Book Reference

Richardson,John: 'Nietzsche's System' [OUP 2002], p.88