more from Alvin Plantinga

Single Idea 9086

[catalogued under 18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought]

Full Idea

The notion of an abstract object comes from the notion of abstraction; it is in origin an epistemological rather than an ontological category.

Gist of Idea

The idea of abstract objects is not ontological; it comes from the epistemological idea of abstraction


Alvin Plantinga (Why Propositions cannot be concrete [1993], p.232)

Book Reference

Plantinga,Alvin: 'Essays in the Metaphysics of Modality' [OUP 2003], p.232

A Reaction

Etymology doesn't prove anything. However, if you define abstract objects as not existing in space or time, you must recognise that this may only be because that is how humans imaginatively created them in the first place.