Abstract and Complete

Publication Year:
2012
Usage 344
Downloads 344
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9274
Author(s):
Elliott-Graves, Alkistis
conference paper description
There are two notions of abstraction that are often confused. The material view implies that the products of abstraction are not concrete. It is vulnerable to the criticism that abstracting introduces misrepresentations to the system, hence abstraction is indistinguishable from idealization. The omission view fares better against this criticism because it does not entail that abstract objects are non-physical and because it asserts that the way scientists abstract is different to the way they idealize. Moreover, the omission view better captures the way that abstraction is used in many parts of science. Disentangling the two notions is an important prerequisite for determining how to evaluate the use abstraction in science.