You are not logged in. To view the rest of and explore the A-Z Glossary, please login first. For more information click here.

A person can grow only as much as his horizon (dreams) allows. ~ John Powell

Network & System Concepts

A concept is a cognitive unit of meaning… an abstract idea or a mental symbol sometimes also defined as a “unit of knowledge” which is “built” or constructed from other units which act as concept characteristics. A concept is typically associated with a corresponding representation in a language or semioticsThe study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior. The analysis of systems of communication, such as language, gestures or clothing. such as a word.

The reasoning and logical processes of the understanding by which concepts are generated as to their existence are…

  • comparison, i.e. the likening of mental images to one another in relation to the unity of our consciousness.
  • reflection, i.e. the going back over different mental images, how they can be comprehended in one's consciousness.
  • abstraction or the segregation of everything else by which the mental images differ.

In order to make our mental images into concepts, we must be able to compare, reflect and abstract (both the differences and similarities), for these three logical operations of our understanding cycle are essential and are general conditions of generating any concept whatsoever.

For example… I see a fir, a willow and a linden. In firstly comparing these objects, I notice that they are different from one another in respect of trunk, branches, leaves and the like; further - however - I reflect only on what they have in common, the trunk, the branches, the leaves themselves and abstract from their size, shape, and so forth that they are similar in nature… thus I gradually gain the concept of a tree.

Thus, concepts are ideas, mental images and/or constructs which corresponds to some distinct entity or class of entities, or to its essential features, or determines the application of a term and thus plays an essential part in the use of reason or language.

Log In