n.1.The quality of being abstractive; abstractive property.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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It is true that even Whitehead's account of symbolism is caught up in the abstractiveness and fallibility of symbolic reference.
[Such pernicious mixtures of levels of conceptualization have been dealt with by Alfred Korzybski (1924-1926; 1971) quite extensively when the Polish thinker built his theory of the degrees of abstractiveness as an integral part of his science of general semantics].
Korzybski's idea was the following: any confusion as regards the appurtenance to one or other of the levels of abstractiveness from the chain described above surely led to semantic distortions and even to psychic pathology, in this sense the confusions of this kind being encountered most often in political discourse.
the removal of perspectival systemic errors born at the same time with the wrong interpretations concerning the events in the real world which can appear if there is confusion as regards the levels of abstractiveness.
However, this abstractiveness covers not only the language of scientific prose; for instance, despite the rich imagery of his poems, in his letters Keats frequently refers to his art as being "abstract." The same is true for all other systems of symbols on which art forms are based.
In other words, there is no way out from the process of Burkean general symbolicity, just as there is no way out from the Korzybskian process of general abstractiveness. Still, the two modes, the scientistic and the dramatistic, about which Burke speaks, diverge at a certain point: the scientistic approach builds the edifice of language emphasizing propositions like /It is/, or /It is not/, while the dramatistic approach accentuates hortative propositions like /You will/, or /You will not/ [do something] ("Thou shalt, or thou shalt not") (Burke 1966: 44).
A consequence of the highest importance derives from this state of affairs, in the terms of the two great thinkers, Burke and Korzybski: reality is grounded in generalized symbolicity and, respectively, general abstractiveness. It is possible for this crucial consequence to trigger a revolution in our thought systems analogous to that launched in the physics of the 20th century by the postulation of generalized relativity.
Because action is in itself a new event, from the level of action the whole chain of abstractiveness is resumed, and the process repeats indefinitely in this manner.
Korzybski's fundamental thesis mentioned above (the infinite chain of abstractiveness, the idea that symbols are second order abstractions) and its crucial consequences thus appear, clothed in "logology," in Burke's theory.
2) Korzybski's potentially infinite chain of fractal abstractiveness ([event.sub.0], [event.sub.1]-of-[event.sub.0]/perception, [event.sub.2]-of-[event.sub.1]-of-[event.sub.0]/description, etc.): in this model any abstraction is a window into reality with all its dimensions (physical, perceptional, descriptive, conclusive, systemic, active, etc.).