more from Gottfried Leibniz

Single Idea 12951

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind]

Full Idea

Beasts recognise whiteness, but this does not amount to abstraction, which requires attention to the general apart from the particular, and consequently involves knowledge of universal truths.

Gist of Idea

Abstraction attends to the general, not the particular, and involves universal truths


Gottfried Leibniz (New Essays on Human Understanding [1704], 2.11)

Book Reference

Leibniz,Gottfried: 'New Essays on Human Understanding', ed/tr. Remnant/Bennett [CUP 1996], p.142

A Reaction

I'm not sure where 'truth' creeps into this. I might hallucinate pink elephants, and abstract the general notion of pink from them. Nevertheless, the features picked out in abstraction tend to be the shared features.