When you look at the above abstract painting what do you see ? A snowy mountain ? A coastal scene or something else ?
Abstraction is one of the big elements we associate with intelligence , the term itself is so ingrained in language and use that we all sort of get what thinking abstractly means, yet if we want to recreate abstraction we need to look at it in more detail and from the ground up which is what we’ll look at here…
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A conceptual process wherein general rules and concepts are derived from the usage and classification of specific examples… ( from the wiki )
If the above definition left you with more questions than answers don’t fret, let’s go over it:
Specific. We experience the world in a very particular way, let’s say (and I hope) there was an incident you remember where your caretakers or friends helped you in some way, your parents offering comfort, friends companionship, laughs and adventures, or a mentor or book helping you learn something new.
General. From these experiences you can generalize to some extent that parents are benevolent and want what’s best for you, ( or at least that they should be this way ) and that there’s good times to be had with friends and good learning from books and/or mentors.
Abstract concepts help condense all this individual experiences and even those that you personally haven’t lived into something we agree to a certain extent that refers to our own experiences and those of others, love for instance encompasses parental care, friendship and even some aspects of mentorship.