Generalization and limitation of concepts in logic: types, methods, examples

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Generalization and limitation of concepts in logic: types, methods, examples
Generalization and limitation of concepts in logic: types, methods, examples

What is the generalization and limitation of concepts in logic? It is rather difficult to describe this briefly, since the discipline is philosophical and appeals to a considerable number of nuances. Generalizations and restrictions, as well as the processes for their implementation, are precisely logical mechanisms.

What is logic? Definition

The very word "logic" is of Greek origin. This name arose from the ancient word - "logos". Literally translated, it means "mind", "thought" or "reasoning".

Accordingly, logic is the science of thinking, about the methods, forms and patterns of cognition, the implementation of reasonable activity.

Logic is both an independent philosophical scientific discipline and a tool of knowledge that allows you to build theories and reasoning.

What is a concept? Definition

To understand what is the generalization and limitation of concepts in logic, you need to clearly understand what exactly is the subject of its study. In other words,one should understand what is meant by the term "concept".

This is nothing but the unity of phenomena, objects, their characteristic properties, arising in the mind. The concept also includes thoughts or their systems, chains, with the help of which an idea of something is created.

Types of concepts

Operations of generalization and limitation of concepts in logic, no doubt, depend on the essence of what they are carried out in relation to. In other words - from the variety of the concept, limited or generalized. They are divided according to volume and content.

Man at the crossroads
Man at the crossroads

Classification of concepts on the basis of volume:

  • single;
  • empty;
  • general.

According to the content, they are divided into the following categories:

  • positive and negative;
  • irrelative and relative;
  • collective and divisive;
  • concrete and abstract;
  • empirical and theoretical.

Besides this, concepts can be comparable to each other or, on the contrary, radically alien in meaning.

What is the generalization of concepts in logic? Definition

Generalization and limitation of concepts in logic are thought processes that, no doubt, are largely similar to each other, but they pursue completely different goals.

human brain
human brain

Generalization is understood as a mental operation, as a result of which another concept is formed from one, related to the original one. New,emerging during the process of generalization, the concept is characterized by a greater degree of semantic coverage, but much less specification.

In other words, a generalization is a chain of inferences, during which there is a transition from particular concepts to broader, abstract ones. That is, it is nothing more than a mental movement from the particular, specific or individual, to the general.

What is a concept constraint in logic? Definition

Although generalization and limitation of concepts in logic are very similar in their implementation, they pursue opposite goals.

Choice of direction
Choice of direction

Under the restriction is meant a thought process, which consists in adding to one, the original concept of another, narrowing and concretizing its meaning. That is, the first concept in the chain of inferences, or, as it is also called, generic, loses its abstractness through reasoning and transforms into a private or specific one.

What are the results of logical reasoning with generalizations and restrictions called?

Since the generalization and limitation of concepts in logic pursue completely different goals, the results of these types of mental activity differ, including names.

Image of a thinker
Image of a thinker

The result of logical generalization becomes a hypernym. This term refers to the result of mental activity, which led to a conclusion characterized by a broad meaning, with a complete lack of specifics.

The result of the same thought process withthe application of logical constraints is called a hyponym. This term expresses a specific concept that has a narrow meaning in relation to a broader, general one.

What are the similarities and differences between restriction and generalization?

Generalization and limitation of concepts in logic are ways of organizing the thought process, including a chain of inferences ending with a certain result. This is the similarity between them, which allows us to consider these concepts together. In other words, the process of thinking is the same. But from the starting point or the original, primary concept, a person’s thought moves in radically different directions.

That's the difference. Generalization and limitation of concepts in logic pursue separate goals and lead to opposite results. Nevertheless, these concepts are interconnected with each other, like two sides of the coin.

Relationships in different directions
Relationships in different directions

This means that each concept under consideration, participating both in generalization and in limitation, can act in two forms in relation to neighboring links that make up the chain of reflections. That is, if a person, thinking, limits the concept, then any intermediate will become a hyponym in relation to the next one. And, accordingly, it will also act as a hypernym for the previous concept. The relationship is similarly arranged in the implementation of another thought process. Thus, generalization and limitation of concepts in logic are related. Only their meaning is differentresults. However, each of the processes, if considered in reverse order, is transformed into its direct opposite.

Examples of logical constraints and generalizations

What are generalizations and limitations of concepts in logic in practice? Examples of these thought processes can be observed not only in scientific activity, but also in any of the spheres of life.

The simplest concept constraint that everyone faces on a daily basis occurs while shopping at the grocery store. In this case, the chain of inference begins with the realization of the need to purchase products. The next thought is more specific. A person determines why he needs to buy food - for dinner, in reserve, for preparing dinner, for a festive table. Following this comes the turn of an even narrower concept, namely the definition of types of products. That is, a person begins to imagine in what quantities and what he needs to buy - sausages, cereals, cakes, semi-finished meat products or something else. It is at this stage of the thought process that a list of future purchases is usually compiled. The concept of what products you need to buy is finally narrowed already in the store.

man at the computer
man at the computer

It is also quite simple to illustrate the process of limiting concepts with the following example:

  • pet;
  • dog;
  • purebred;
  • carrying service, guarding;
  • medium sizes;
  • shepherd;
  • German.

Achieving concept"German Shepherd" in this example is the culmination of a process of inference. If this list of words is considered in reverse order, then it will become an example of a logical generalization of concepts.

To draw a chain of simple inferences, which will be a process of logical generalization or limitation of concepts, is not as difficult as it seems. For this it is not at all necessary to appeal to scientific terms or to look for a special subject for consideration. In order to find a subject for a logical refinement of a concept or its limitations, as well as generalizations, it is enough just to look around.

Items on the table
Items on the table

As an initial concept, almost everything that is in sight can act. For example, a dining table. The chain of reasoning when constructing a generalization will include the following steps:

  • dining table;
  • just a table;
  • dining room furniture;
  • just furniture;
  • furnishings;
  • interior element;
  • thing.

As a rule, with spontaneous reasoning, that is, those conclusions that are not built intentionally, on purpose, the number of stages is much less. Usually there are only two of them, for example - "military" and "soldier".