“A principle of abstraction is said to be conceptual when the items upon which it abstracts are concepts, and it is said to be objectual when the items upon which it abstracts are objects….Objects are referred to by means of singular terms and concepts by means of predicates; and variables for objects and concepts are respectively taken to occupy either a nominal or a predicative position. Although concepts may correspond to objects, no concept can sensibly be said to be an object, since this would involve a grammatical confusion between a singular term and a predicate.” – The Limits of Abstraction, Kit Fine
“An abstraction is a selective mental focus in which some items and/or aspect s of reality are separated from all others. A concept is a group of units united by a definition (common denominator) with their particular measurements omitted. ” – Ayn Rand
The first example is from modern philosophy. The second from an actual, realistic understanding. Notice something about the first one?
Ultimately is a declaration that reality has nothing to do concepts and vice versa. Note that he doesn’t say that “concepts correspond to reality,” he said that “concepts MAY correspond to reality,” and he said “no concept can sensibly be said to be an object, since this would involve (some kind of semantic) contradiction.” He did NOT say that this would present a contradiction, nor that it would constitute a total surrender of concepts period, since concepts by nature, MUST refer to objects in reality, either ultimately, or indirectly through abstractions from abstractions.
Shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. And this is what is SO great about Rand and everyone finds it so in vogue still to tear her down. She has identified the split modern minds have made between philosophy and reality, while never the two shall meet.