Abstract and Concrete

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James Cargile


Philosophical usage of “abstract” to mean “not located in space and time” is (1) an overextension of the ordinary meaning which encourages conflating platonic realism about universals with conceptualism about universals, since (2) “abstract” in its ordinary use is quite appropriate to the traditional conceptualist theory of universals, in which the “abstract general idea” is a standard item. Applied with its ordinary meaning to the platonic theory, “abstract” is incorrect. As appropriated in philosophical discussion, “abstract” does apply truly. That is not a good reason to persist in the misleading use.

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How to Cite
Cargile, J. (2019). Abstract and Concrete. Humanities Bulletin, 2(1), 50-60. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/474