Philosophy: what is an abstraction?

Self-tutoring about philosophy: the tutor looks at abstraction.

An abstraction is a definition of an entity that includes only how it behaves and reacts but not what it is. Abstractions are used when details are unimportant beyond the interaction itself.

Let’s imagine a road: a person needn’t know what surface it’s paved with, how old it is, or who laid it, to travel on it. The abstraction is the understanding and expectation of how one can use a road for passage, ignoring details about it.


Lewis, Depasquale, and Chase. Java Foundations: Introduction to Program Design & Data Structures, 4th ed. Toronto: Pearson, 2017.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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