Why is ‘abstract idea’ like Wikipedia?
“Subject” is a word defining the human locus of consciousness, experience, reason, and will; “subject” is our human “essence” and everything that makes us who we uniquely are.
“Object” is a word defining something material that may be perceived by the senses.
I define these two words because there are many different definitions for these words but this is the definition I am using for these words in this discourse.
The qualities acquired by objects through association are what are normally called their expression. In the form or material of objects “there is one object with its emotional effect, in expression there are two, and the emotional effect belongs to the character of the second or suggested one.”
Many or perhaps most “things” that we find to be meaningful are objectified abstract concepts.
Examples of concrete concepts: the infant feeling warm and secure while being held following birth; being repelled by foul smelling stuff; the burden of carrying heavy stuff; observing the rise of milk in the measuring cub while watching mother make corn bread; noting that Grandma needs support while walking; getting knowledge while examining a tree.
Examples of abstract concepts: feeling warm when around my best fiend; telling a friend that the movie stinks; the feeling of being weighed down by troubles; the sense that stock prices are too high; I feel good when I support the troops; seeing a distant problem that might result.
Most of our concepts are abstract concepts and they are constructed from our concrete concepts. The more complex, broad, and sophisticated that our life style is the larger, more complex and sophisticated are our abstract concepts. Most of our concepts dealing with freedom, morality, politics, religion, justice, and history are abstract concepts.
Quotes from The Sense of Beauty: Being The Outlines of Aesthetic Theory by George Santayana