Order of Increasing Abstractness

Abstractness is a comparative property.

Any concept is abstract to some degree. However, a species is less abstract than the genus to which it belongs.

The genus is a larger and broader group; it has more referents than the species does.

The distinction between abstract and concrete allows us to classify not only things, but also concepts, because some concepts are more abstract than others.

Example:

The concept LOVE is more abstract than its species, such as ROMANTIC LOVE, but less abstract than its genus, EMOTION.

Since EMOTION is more abstract than specific emotions, such as LOVE and HATE, it allows us to classify the different species of emotions under the genus EMOTION.


Comprehension Questions

1 Something that refers to a group of objects is
a) abstract
b) concrete
2 Something that refers to a single thing is
a) abstract
b) concrete
3 Which is abstract in the following pair of concepts?
CARL SAGAN, ASTRONOMER
a) CARL SAGAN
b) ASTRONOMER
4 Which is abstract in the following pair of concepts?
HERBIE THE LOVE BUG, AUTOMOBILES
a) HERBIE THE LOVE BUG
b) AUTOMOBILES
5 Which is concrete in the following pair of concepts?
ODYSSEY, APOLLO SPACECRAFT
a) ODYSSEY
b) APOLLO SPACECRAFT
6 Which is concrete in the following pair of concepts?
TITANTIC, SHIPS
a) TITANTIC
b) SHIPS
7 Arrange the following concepts from the most to the least abstract.
CHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMISTRY, ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, IMMUNOCHEMISTRY
a) IMMUNOCHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMISTRY, ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, CHEMISTRY
b) BIOCHEMISTRY, IMMUNOCHEMISTRY, ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, CHEMISTRY
c) CHEMISTRY, ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMISTRY, IMMUNOCHEMISTRY
d) ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, CHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMISTRY, IMMUNOCHEMISTRY
8 Arrange the following concepts from the most to the least abstract.
QUADRILATERAL, RHOMBUS, PARALLELOGRAM, FIGURE
a) QUADRILATERAL, FIGURE, PARALLELOGRAM, RHOMBUS
b) FIGURE, QUADRILATERAL, PARALLEOLGRAM, RHOMBUS
c) PARALLELOGRAM, FIGURE, RHOMBUS, QUADRILATERAL
d) RHOMBUS, PARALLELOGRAM, QUADRILATERAL, FIGURE
9 Arrange the following concepts from the most to the least abstract.
ELECTRIC GUITAR, GUITAR, STRINGED INSTRUMENT, MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
a) MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, STRINGED INSTRUMENT, GUITAR, ELECTRIC GUITAR
b) ELECTRIC GUITAR, STRINGED INSTRUMENT, MUSICAL INSTRUMENT,
c) ELECTRIC GUITAR, GUITAR, STRINGED INSTRUMENT, MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
d) MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, GUITAR, STRINGED INSTRUMENT, ELECTRIC GUITAR


Rules of Classification

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