Nasir Khan, December 22, 2015
“An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think.”
-- German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)
We also meet people who hold an opinion or view to be only a ‘generalisation’; therefore, by calling it a generalisation what they imply is that it should be cast aside as ‘non-factual’ or ‘illusory’.
However, that’s a simplistic view. On the contrary, in the hands of thinkers and mature observers their views are based on empirical data and a rational analysis of such data. As a result, for them to offer generalisations is an essential part of communicating some facts that are part of a cognitive process.
No wonder, all thinkers and mentally mature people generalise; that helps many of us to see their views as empirically verifiable. But all generalisations do not meet this criterion. By adducing evidence, we can show the erroneous assumptions on which such generalised views may be based.