What is abstraction - method, technique or thinking

In a situation when an explanation of a picture incomprehensible to the content is expected from a person (the reasons for this can be very different), you can hear a reply: “Something abstract (if you read between the lines is art for the sake of art without meaning)”. However, has the Human-reader ever thought about what is meant by the word "abstraction" and is it rarely necessary to resort to abstraction in everyday life?

what is abstraction

How is abstraction in human life

The term "abstraction" has Latin roots. Formed with the help of the prefix ab - "from" and the words traho - translated as "pull", "attract." So it turns out that the conversation is about distraction. In the encyclopedias and dictionaries, one can find an explanation of the word as a method of research, scientific knowledge, the process of diverting any subject from its nonessential features. To clarify the situation, it is enough to refer to the sources.

With the advent of man, the process of forming a personality is launched. One of the main factors in the development of a child is the gradual (from simple to complex forms) formation of mental operations (thinking). Thinking is a process of cognition of the surrounding world, presented in three main forms: concept, judgment and inference. There is a direct relationship between the development of thinking and language acquisition.

Thus, in infancy, a child only masters human speech, therefore, when perceiving and exploring the world around him, he relies on the most primitive type of thinking - specifically, effective or practical. Its essence is that the child learns the objective world by collecting as much information as possible about him (color, shape, hardness, softness, can be broken or thrown onto the floor without consequences, taste, edibility, etc.). This process is laid down by nature at the genetic level, so young children often behave “risky”: they pull everything in the mouth (except for the moment when the teeth appear), they throw, crumple, shake almost everything that falls into their hands. However, cognition of the practical application of things ends around 2-3.5 years (with normal development), and the next stage of development of thinking lasts up to about 5-6.5 years.

By the age of three, the baby’s vocabulary and intonation repertoire are expanding, and he diligently imitates the behavior of significant adults. This is good soil for the formation of a concrete-shaped (visually-shaped) or artistic form of thinking. Sufficient knowledge has been accumulated about the world in the form of images: the fox is red, lives in the forest, sly; the hen is a bird, lives at home, a source of eggs, etc. The child confidently operates with images known to him, so the speech becomes smoother, decorated with sentences rather than short phrases, but the independent selection of the causal relationships of the fairy tale will be available only at the next stage of thinking development (enough evidence from this statement can be found in "From three to five").

abstraction method

A five-year-old preschooler, relying on concrete figurative thinking, successfully masters a verbal-logical or abstract form. A child can independently determine and distinguish between types, genera and categories. His speech is being improved, including all sorts of explanations (“because” ...), logical conclusions and conclusions.The structure of sentences used in speech is much more complicated; “distractions” and fantasies appear.

It can be concluded that a person comes to abstraction before he learns the meaning of this term.

Does abstract thinking exist

Many Internet resources describe abstract thinking as a kind of super-valuable education (at the same time replacing concepts and misleading the reader). In fact, sometimes for the reduction called verbal-logical thinking, the features of which were described above. It is worth noting that the lack of verbal operations in children of six years of age is interpreted during a diagnostic examination as a developmental delay, and in some circumstances - intellectual inadequacy. The complete absence of this type of thinking or its disturbed formation is observed in all people with oligophrenia.

abstraction summary

Abstraction as a method and artistic technique

What is abstraction in history? In a historical retrospective, it reveals itself for the first time in the Ancient Greeks. Naturally, this is manifested in the use of abstract categories in the description of objects, for example: solid - in the subject-specific dictionary "like a stone", round - "like the moon."Contributed to the formation and development of the method of abstraction and oratory (revered in the Greek policies) - the ability to formulate logical conclusions and convince listeners of their correctness.

What is the abstraction in scientific knowledge? This is a distraction from the properties and connections of the object that are not essential for the tasks of the moment being solved. The result of the study is an abstraction or an abstract object.

comparison abstraction

What is abstraction in sculptors? In art, abstraction resulted in abstractionism, which became a kind of continuation of impressionism. If the impressionists (from the French "impression") conveyed their emotions, experiences, preserving the recognizable form of objects, the abstractionists sought to develop a universal visual language of shapes and colors that go beyond the physical and cultural boundaries of the viewer. Pictures of artists is a kind of transfer of ideas and emotions through an interconnected rhythm of color, form, texture. At the origins of this art were Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Pete Mondrian.

abstracting example

Classification of abstraction types

What is abstraction from the point of view of scientific knowledge? Gradually distracting from a number of properties of an object, one can get an abstract chain: honey badger - animal - living being - material object - matter, in which the highest form of abstraction are categories of philosophy. According to the tasks being solved, the process of abstraction can be divided into the following types:

  • idealizing abstraction - provides for the isolation of the "ideal object model", in everyday life is manifested in such concepts as "ideal teacher", "ideal student, worker". Often claimed as an example to follow;
  • abstraction generalization - there is a distraction from the individual characteristics of the object, based on belonging to one or another class, for example: a pan, a frying pan, a ladle, a saucepan, become “kitchen utensils”;
  • isolating abstraction is the selection of one of the attributes of an object, and giving it independence in the form of a certain category, for example: “stability”, “solubility”, “magnetism”, “beauty”, etc.

In the examples of abstraction, you can notice the main principle - the exclusion of the individual characteristics of objects and objects with the aim of removing any patterns,therefore, this method is called eliminative (a literal translation from the Latin - to expel, exclude, delete).

what is abstraction

Theories of Abstraction

There are two theories of abstraction:

  • eliminative;
  • productive.

Productive abstraction is based on the postulates:

- Abstraction is a new object, and “universal abstractions” exist independently of our consciousness in the so-called “world of ideas”.

- Formal logic has no power over productive abstractions, which are more to the “logic of the whole” (this statement is based on the concept of an idea in productive abstraction, as a multitude of smaller ideas, in relation to which the main one is more “whole” than “common”) . Ernst Cassirer calls this idea a “function”. However, it should be noted that the logic of productive abstractions has not been studied enough, therefore, the comparison of abstraction of the eliminative and productive temporarily is not possible.

Abstraction Applications

It is easy to see that the conceptual apparatus of the described phenomenon is basically a scientific language. Consequently, abstraction is the leading scientific method (in both humanitarian and natural areas).

This happens in connection with the possibility of constructing abstract schemes and scenarios for the flow of real processes that reveal implicit regularities.

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