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It's been a really difficult question that came up to my mind, can we consider the thing 'red' the particular of color, but also the universal of 'light-red' and 'dark-red'. And how can we know for sure which things are particular or concrete and which are universal. I wish you could give me some good examples. And after this, Can we imagine concepts which are general, like humanity, color etc., or we imagine just specific examples of those universals... Thank you very much.

asked Aug 26 '12 at 05:23

kevindurant's gravatar image


edited Aug 26 '12 at 10:24

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Isn't a "something" always a particular, i.e., some particular thing? And why can't it also be a universal, as in "abstraction from abstractions"? If the focus is on particular concretes, then they are concretes, not abstractions, although they may be instances of abstractions.

Remember, also, that abstractions do not exist in reality. Only concretes exist. Abstractions "are merely man's epistemological method of perceiving that which exists...." (Quoted from The Ayn Rand Lexicon, topic of "Abstractions and Concretes.") First-level abstractions are concretes as perceived by man and mentally grouped by man according to their perceived characteristics. Higher-level abstractions are generalizations from lower-level abstractions. See also "Abstraction (process of)" in the Lexicon.

answered Aug 26 '12 at 11:43

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

A concept is a universal; an entity in reality is a particular.

That said, concepts often exist in a particular/universal relationship to each other.

For example, fruit is a particular kind of comestible. Apple is a particular kind of fruit. Fuji is a particular kind of apple. "Comestible", "fruit", "apple" and "Fuji" are all concepts, which means they are all universals. But, in this case, they are nested, in that each more specific one exists within a more general one.

An apple in your hand is a particular apple -- there's nothing universal about it. It isn't a concept. It's an entity.

Regarding imagination, I think it's possible to imagine a man without going crazy to come up with all of his particular features. It depends on for what purpose you are imagining him. If you are writing a screenplay, you must do a lot more work in imagining a man than if you are casually imagining a man walking across a street. You imagine only as many details as you have to.

answered Aug 27 '12 at 10:21

John%20Paquette's gravatar image

John Paquette ♦

edited Aug 27 '12 at 10:26

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Asked: Aug 26 '12 at 05:23

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Last updated: Aug 27 '12 at 10:26