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I'm be no means an expert in philosophical terms, but I want to learn more. My question is about whether there is a name for the idea that abstract concepts (e.g. Goodness, baddness, value, etc...) exist only within our mind. I don't mean that to say that such concepts as goodness, or purity, or whatever it may be, are an illusion. I'm saying that they exist within only ourselves, but are very real within that.

For example:

An Apple is red (that can be measured scientifically). It also has a specific density, (that too can be measured scientifically.) However, the taste of the apple, whether good or bad or inbetween, exists only within our minds. (This can't be measured scientifically.)

As such, I would say that the apple, in this sence is both, at the same time, good and bad in taste, as all of those concepts exist within us.

This concept could be applied to a more broad subject though.

For example:

Under this thought process, one couldn't make statments such as "As time goes on there is progress, which is intrensically built into history." (I don't know of this is the best way to word that statment, but I was trying to model what I think is Hegal's view of time/history) The reason that one wouldn't be able to say this would be because, as progress in that sence is an abstract concept, it exists only within ourselvs. One could say however, that over time, cities have had more inferstructure built and this leads to better living expectancy ect. ect..

Were progress to be used in the abstract way I above said, one could really just say that anything is progress, and, really, that is true; but it is just as true as saying that there is no progress.

I hope I explained the concept well, but if not, I would be happy to clarify. Anyhow, is there a term for this idea?

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    See conceptualism : "the perspective that dismissed the existence of universals outside of the mind." – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Sep 9 '16 at 13:50
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If I understand you correctly, you are asking if there's a term for entities that exist within the mind only, but are really there. The Scholastics called such entities 'beings of reason.' Beings of reason do not have any reality in and of themselves and are only available (brought to existence) by the power of reason.

However, the taste of the apple, whether good or bad or inbetween, exists only within our minds. (This can't be measured scientifically.)

As such, I would say that the apple, in this sence is both, at the same time, good and bad in taste, as all of those concepts exist within us.

There are at least two things going on. The taste of the apple, whether good or bad or 'in-between' is either a matter of preference or aesthetics. This is not to be confused with something having existence. If you wanted to say something else, I would need your help to understand that.

There's usually a lot of illegitimate uses of the term 'abstract.' See my post over at How is nominalism different to universalism? And see if that helps, if it doesn't, I ask you to engage with me.

  • I read your link and I do think it helped me a bit to understand, but I don't know that I understood it completely. I've never had any formal education in philosophy, so some of the terms I have read/will use may not be used entirely correctly, but I'll try my best. – Morella Almånd Sep 13 '16 at 1:31
  • What I mean by an abstract idea/concept is one which needs a physical manifestation to, in essence, be "seen". When I say that the apple has taste, I don't really mean that. The reason for this is because the apple doesn't have intrensic taste. We ourselves precieve the taste of the apple and come up with whatever opinion we may have of the apple's taste. However, as I said earlier, what I call abstract concepts (such as taste) can only be "manifested" through something physical. In this case, its a more complex "physical" thing that precieves tast. In this case, it's our mind which "creates" – Morella Almånd Sep 13 '16 at 1:37
  • the taste. (The reason that I include our mind as being something which can manufest taste is because the processies by which we have the ability to both express and react to taste (functions of the mind) is embodied by our bodies. By this definition, really, since the abstract taste of the apple is embodied/manifested by our mind/body, it is real, but only within the physical thing which manifests it-otherwise it's only an abstract concept with any form to it. – Morella Almånd Sep 13 '16 at 1:42
  • There are many different tastes one may embody (I don't know of any scale/range which properly "measures" or exibits this- not just within the realm of taste, but with all abstract concepts). Anyhow, the point is that there are is a range of tastes one can manifest, so within that range, as an abstract concept, any of those tastes can be manifested. Even if they aren't, at that time, having something embody it, they still do exist in a very real way. I had said earlier that without something to embody the abstract concept, it simply is a concept, so this may seem to be a contradiction to it, – Morella Almånd Sep 13 '16 at 1:47
  • But what I am saying is that we are the precievers of the abstract concept to whatever degree that we do, so every part of the range exists (In this case, the range of good to bad taste of an apple), we simply actively embody/manifest a part of that range. – Morella Almånd Sep 13 '16 at 1:49

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