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Abstraction

The word “model” in the phrase “scientific model” reflects the role of abstraction in the construction of this type of model. An “abstraction” is a description of a set of real objects that is removed from the differences among the descriptions of this objects when they are described in detail. For example, the word “chair” is an abstraction that is removed from the blemishes and design details that describe real chairs, when these chairs are described in detail.

An abstraction places several more detailed descriptions in a disjunction, that is in a logical OR statement. For instance, it places the more detailed description male and the more detailed description female in the disjunction male OR female.

A less abstract description may be formed by placing several description in a conjunction, that is in a logical AND statement. For example, the less abstract description brown AND chair is formed by placing the description brown and the description chair in a conjunction.

As a state is a description, a state may be an abstraction from several other states. When not an abstraction, a state is called a way.

 

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