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abstraction

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abstraction


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Abstraction  \Ab*strac"tion\,  n.  [Cf.  F.  abstraction.  See 
  {Abstract},  a.] 
  1.  The  act  of  abstracting,  separating,  or  withdrawing,  or  the 
  state  of  being  withdrawn;  withdrawal. 
 
  A  wrongful  abstraction  of  wealth  from  certain 
  members  of  the  community.  --J.  S.  Mill. 
 
  2.  (Metaph.)  The  act  process  of  leaving  out  of  consideration 
  one  or  more  properties  of  a  complex  object  so  as  to  attend 
  to  others  analysis.  Thus  when  the  mind  considers  the 
  form  of  a  tree  by  itself  or  the  color  of  the  leaves  as 
  separate  from  their  size  or  figure,  the  act  is  called 
  abstraction.  So  also  when  it  considers  whiteness, 
  softness,  virtue,  existence,  as  separate  from  any 
  particular  objects. 
 
  Note:  Abstraction  is  necessary  to  classification,  by  which 
  things  are  arranged  in  genera  and  species.  We  separate 
  in  idea  the  qualities  of  certain  objects,  which  are  of 
  the  same  kind  from  others  which  are  different,  in 
  each  and  arrange  the  objects  having  the  same 
  properties  in  a  class,  or  collected  body. 
 
  Abstraction  is  no  positive  act:  it  is  simply  the 
  negative  of  attention.  --Sir  W. 
  Hamilton. 
 
  3.  An  idea  or  notion  of  an  abstract,  or  theoretical  nature; 
  as  to  fight  for  mere  abstractions. 
 
  4.  A  separation  from  worldly  objects;  a  recluse  life;  as  a 
  hermit's  abstraction. 
 
  5.  Absence  or  absorption  of  mind;  inattention  to  present 
  objects. 
 
  6.  The  taking  surreptitiously  for  one's  own  use  part  of  the 
  property  of  another;  purloining.  [Modern] 
 
  7.  (Chem.)  A  separation  of  volatile  parts  by  the  act  of 
  distillation.  --Nicholson. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  abstraction 
  n  1:  a  concept  or  idea  not  associated  with  any  specific  instance; 
  "he  loved  her  only  in  the  abstract--not  in  person"  [syn: 
  {abstract}] 
  2:  the  act  of  extracting  something  [syn:  {extraction}] 
  3:  the  process  of  formulating  general  concepts  by  abstracting 
  common  properties  of  instances  [syn:  {generalization}] 
  4:  an  abstract  painting 
  5:  preoccupation  with  something  to  the  exclusion  of  all  else 
  [syn:  {abstractedness}] 
  6:  a  general  concept  formed  by  extracting  common  features  from 
  specific  examples 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  abstraction 
 
  1.  Generalisation;  ignoring  or  hiding  details  to  capture  some 
  kind  of  commonality  between  different  instances.  Examples  are 
  {abstract  data  types}  (the  representation  details  are  hidden), 
  {abstract  syntax}  (the  details  of  the  {concrete  syntax}  are 
  ignored),  {abstract  interpretation}  (details  are  ignored  to 
  analyse  specific  properties). 
 
  2.    Parameterisation  making  something  a  function 
  of  something  else.  Examples  are  {lambda  abstractions}  (making 
  a  term  into  a  function  of  some  variable),  {higher-order 
  function}s  (parameters  are  functions),  {bracket  abstraction} 
  (making  a  term  into  a  function  of  a  variable). 
 
  Opposite  of  {concretisation}. 
 
  (1998-06-04) 
 
 




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