Taken as a problem in logic, the answer is, of course, that absolutely nothing in the way of abstract mental content is inferable from the mere fact that we can use intelligently words of which the meaning is abstract.
Berkeley and Hume made a vigorous onslaught on "abstract ideas." They meant by an idea approximately what we should call an image.
There has been a late excellent and deservedly esteemed philosopher who, no doubt, has given it very much countenance, by seeming to think the having abstract general ideas is what puts the widest difference in point of understanding betwixt man and beast.
From these considerations, I shall devote the first chapter of this Abstract
to Variation under Domestication.
And as that abstract
condition of Maia, to the kind and quantity of concrete literary production we hold to have been originally possible for him; so was the religion he actually attained, to what might have been the development of his profoundly religious spirit, had he been able to see that the old-fashioned Christianity is itself but the proper historic development of the true "essence" of the New Testament.
It certainly could not be refuted by a philosophy such as Kant's, in which, no less than in the previously mentioned systems, the history of the human mind and the nature of language are almost wholly ignored, and the certainty of objective knowledge is transferred to the subject; while absolute truth is reduced to a figment, more abstract and narrow than Plato's ideas, of 'thing in itself,' to which, if we reason strictly, no predicate can be applied.
It is a method which does not divorce the present from the past, or the part from the whole, or the abstract from the concrete, or theory from fact, or the divine from the human, or one science from another, but labours to connect them.
Don't forget the abstract
of the case; and don't trouble yourself to see me to the door.
I would put myself in the attitude to look in the eye an abstract truth, and I cannot.
Especially take the same ground in regard to abstract truth, the science of the mind.
On the green in the middle they practised at nets in the summer, but during the rest of the year it was quiet: boys used to wander round sometimes arm in arm, or a studious fellow with abstracted
gaze walked slowly, repeating to himself something he had to learn by heart.
The dissertations are the only part in which an exact translation has been attempted, and even in those abstracts
are sometimes given instead of literal quotations, particularly in the first; and sometimes other parts have been contracted.