more from Peter Simons

Single Idea 18884

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence]

Full Idea

Abstraction as a cognitive tool has been associated predominantly with the metaphysics of universals and of mathematical objects such as numbers. But it is more widely applicable beyond this standard range. I commend its judicious use.

Gist of Idea

Abstraction is usually seen as producing universals and numbers, but it can do more


Peter Simons (Modes of Extension: comment on Fine [2008], p.21)

Book Reference

'Being: Developments in Contemporary Metaphysics', ed/tr. Le Poidevin,R [CUP 2008], p.21

A Reaction

Personally I think our view of the world is founded on three psychological principles: abstraction, idealisation and generalisation. You can try to give them rigour, as 'equivalence classes', or 'universal quantifications', if it makes you feel better.

Related Idea

Idea 18883 Any equivalence relation among similar things allows the creation of an abstractum [Simons]