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Epistemic Groundings of Abstraction and Their Cognitive Dimension*

Sergio F. Martínez and Xiang Huang
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 3 (July 2011), pp. 490-511
DOI: 10.1086/660305
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/660305
Page Count: 22
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Epistemic Groundings of Abstraction and Their Cognitive Dimension*
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Abstract

In the philosophy of science, abstraction has usually been analyzed in terms of the interface between our experience and the design of our concepts. The often implicit assumption here is that such interface has a definite identifiable and universalizable structure, determining the epistemic correctness of any abstraction. Our claim is that, on the contrary, the epistemic grounding of abstraction should not be reduced to the structural norms of such interface but is also related to the constraints on the cognitive processes of specific abstractions. This suggests that we should understand abstraction as embodied in different kinds of abstraction practices.

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