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Abstractionism is the theory that the mind obtains some or all of its concepts by abstracting them from concepts it already has, or from experience.[1] One may, for example, abstract 'green' from a set of experiences which involve green along with other properties. Also, for example, one may abstract a generic concept like 'vegetable' from the already possessed concepts of its instances (carrot, broccoli, onion, etc.). This view was criticized by George Berkeley[2] and Peter Geach.[1]


  1. ^ a b Geach, Peter (1957) Mental Acts - Their Contents and Their Objects. Routledge Kegan Paul.
  2. ^ Flage, Daniel (1986). "Berkeley on Abstraction". Journal of the History of Philosophy. 24 (4): 483–501. doi:10.1353/hph.1986.0073.