A-Z Popular Blog Thinking Search »
Thinking
 Advertisements
Design Thinking

Cognition

Cognitive Traits

Journals

Real World

Consciousness

Opinion

Salience

Practical Thinking

Creativity

Cognitive Biases

Design

Systems Thinking

Philosophy

Strategy

14 Examples of an Abstract Concept

 , updated on
An abstract concept is an idea that people can understand that has no physical form. The ability to identify, understand and communicate abstract concepts is a foundational element of human intelligence. It is a mistake to think that all abstract concepts aren't real as they can be documented with evidence. The following are illustrative examples of an abstract concept.

Language

All natural languages have words for abstract concepts. For example, the word freedom is a completely abstract concept that can't be directly perceived or measured. Learning a new language allows an individual to acquire new abstract concepts and can result in new thought processes.

Civilization & Society

Civilizations and societies are build upon abstract concepts such as the idea of civility.

Culture

Culture is based on abstractions such as the idea of a tradition.

Mathematics

Mathematics is mostly based on abstract concepts such as infinity or zero. The word mathematics itself is a completely abstract concept.

Information Technology

Information technology and computing concepts are mostly abstract such as the idea of cloud computing or artificial intelligence.

Business

Business concepts such as quality, automation and innovation are abstract and flexible concepts that can be defined differently from one firm to the next.

Marketing

Marketing basics such as the idea of a brand. Brands can be extremely valuable with this value completely based on customer perceptions and recognition of brand symbols.

Science

Foundational concepts of science such as time, events and causation. Likewise, elements of the scientific method such as a hypothesis, experiment or control are abstract concepts.

Education

Education is an abstraction based on other abstractions such as thinking, ideas, creativity and experience.

Architecture & Design

Architecture and design have a rich culture of abstraction that include styles, philosophies, methods and goals that are all completely intangible. For example, the idea of color harmony, dominance or negative space.

Art

Abstract concepts in art should not be confused with abstract art. Abstract art is a depiction of an abstract concept such an emotion that has no physical form. Abstract concepts in art include methods, genres, interpretations and philosophies. For example, the idea of art for art's sake is an abstraction.

Communication

Communication concepts such as storytelling, humor and influencing.

Social

Social concepts such as status, kindness or coolness.

Fiction

Fiction is free to invent new abstract concepts. In some cases, abstract concepts from fiction, particularly science fiction, become real with time. In this way, fiction plays a role in inventing the future.

Overview

Abstract concepts are ideas with no specific physical manifestation. These can be social constructs or subjective interpretations. However, this is not always the case. It can not be said that just because something isn't physical that it is invented or subjective. For example, time isn't physical but it has specific properties that aren't invented or open to subjective interpretation. This is easy to see with a thought experiment -- you can't go back in time simply because you choose to interpret time as being a two-way street.

Summary

Abstract concepts aren't necessarily obscure academic ideas but are rather elements of everyday language and reality. These are so common that humans think mostly in abstraction as the rule rather than the exception.
Definitions: Abstract Concept
Type
Definition (1)
An idea that has no defining physical form.
Definition (2)
An entity or generalization that is considered real or potentially real that can not be directly confirmed with the senses.
Related Concepts
Next: Social Constructs
More about thinking:
Abductive Reasoning
Abstract Thinking
Abstraction
Aesthetics
Analogy
Analysis Paralysis
Analytical Thinking
Anomie
Argument
Argument From Silence
Arrow Of Time
Assertions
Automaticity
Backward Induction
Base Rate Fallacy
Benefit Of Doubt
Big Picture
Brainstorming
Call To Action
Catch 22
Causality
Choice Architecture
Circular Reasoning
Cognition
Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive Biases
Cold Logic
Collective Intelligence
Complexity Bias
Concept
Consciousness
Constructive Criticism
Convergent Thinking
Counterfactual Thinking
Creative Tension
Creeping Normality
Critical Thinking
Culture
Curse Of Knowledge
Decision Fatigue
Decision Framing
Decision Making
Defensive Pessimism
Design Thinking
Divergent Thinking
Educated Guess
Emotional Intelligence
Epic Meaning
Essential Complexity
Excluded Middle
Failure Of Imagination
Fallacies
Fallacy Fallacy
False Analogy
False Balance
False Dichotomy
False Equivalence
First Principles
Formal Logic
Four Causes
Fuzzy Logic
Gambler's Fallacy
Generalization
Golden Hammer
Good Judgement
Grey Area
Groupthink
Heuristics
Hindsight Bias
Hope
Idealism
Ideas
If-By-Whiskey
Illogical Success
Imagination
Independent Thinking
Inductive Reasoning
Inference
Influencing
Informal Logic
Information
Information Cascade
Introspection
Intuition
Inventive Step
Learning
Lifestyle
Logic
Logical Argument
Logical Thinking
Ludic Fallacy
Magical Thinking
Meaning
Mental Experiences
Mental State
Mindset
Misuse of Statistics
Motivated Reasoning
Natural Language
Nirvana Fallacy
Norms
Not Even Wrong
Objective Reason
Objectivity
Opinion
Overthinking
Perception
Personal Values
Perspective
Positive Thinking
Practical Thinking
Pragmatism
Premise
Problem Solving
Proof By Example
Propositional Logic
Prosecutor's Fallacy
Radical Chic
Rational Thought
Realism
Reality
Reason
Reasoning
Red Herring
Reflective Thinking
Reification
Relativism
Salience
Scarcity Mindset
Scientism
Selective Attention
Serendipity
Situational Awareness
Sour Grapes
State Of Mind
Storytelling
Subjectivity
Systems Thinking
Thinking
Thought Experiment
Unknown Unknowns
Visual Thinking
Want To Believe
Whataboutism
Win-Win Thinking
Wishful Thinking
Worldview
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.
 

Thinking

An overview of thinking with examples.

Introspection

The definition of introspection with examples.

Critical Thinking Examples

An overview of critical thinking with examples.

Skepticism

The definition of skepticism with examples.

Abstract Thinking

The definition of abstract thinking with examples.

Imagination

The definition of imagination with examples.

Visual Thinking

The definition of visual thinking with examples.

Realism

The definition of realism with examples.

Pragmatism

The definition of pragmatism with examples.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.

Nostalgia

An overview of nostalgia with examples.

Intrapersonal

The definition of intrapersonal with examples.

Paradox

The definition of paradox with examples.

Rational Choice Theory

The definition of rational choice theory with examples.

Positive Thinking

The principles of positive thinking.

List Of Emotions

A list of common emotions.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map