Abstraction

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Abstraction is a process by which higher concepts are derived from the usage and classification of literal ("real" or "concrete") concepts, first principles and/or other abstractions. An "abstraction" (noun) is a concept that acts as super-categorical noun for all subordinate concepts, and connects any related concepts as a group, field, or category.

Abstractions may be formed by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose. For example, abstracting a leather soccer ball to the more general idea of a ball retains only the information on general ball attributes and behavior, eliminating the characteristics of that particular ball.

Contents

Origins

The first symbols of abstract thinking in humans can be traced to fossils dating between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago in Africa.[1][2]

Thought process

In philosophical terminology, abstraction is the thought process wherein ideas[3] are distanced from objects.

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