more from Peter Geach

Single Idea 8777

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique]

Full Idea

Since we can use the terms 'black' and 'cat' in situations not including any black object or any cat, how could this part of the use be got by abstraction?

Gist of Idea

If 'black' and 'cat' can be used in the absence of such objects, how can such usage be abstracted?


Peter Geach (Mental Acts: their content and their objects [1957], 10)

Book Reference

Geach,Peter: 'Mental Acts: Their content and their objects' [RKP 1971], p.36

A Reaction

[He is attacking H.H. Price] It doesn't seem a huge psychological leap to apply the word 'cat' when we remember a cat, and once it is in the mind we can play games with our abstractions. Cats are smaller than dogs.