From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think." - Hegel
- "To generalize is to be an idiot. To particularize is the alone distinction of merit. General knowledge are those knowledge that idiots possess." - William Blake
- "Obvious enough that generalities work to protect the mind from the great outdoors; is it possible that this was in fact their first purpose?" - Howard Nemerov
- "A sweeping statement is the only statement worth listening to. The critic without faith gives balanced opinions, usually about second-rate writers." - Patrick Kavanagh
Generalization a foundational element of logic and human reasoning. Generalization posits the existence of a domain or set of elements, as well as one or more common characteristics shared by those elements. As such, it is the essential basis of all valid deductive inference. The process of verification is necessary to determine whether a generalization holds true for any given situation.
The concept of generalization has broad application in many related disciplines, sometimes having a specialized context-specific meaning.
For any two related concepts, A and B; A is considered a generalization of concept B if and only if:
- every instance of concept B is also an instance of concept A; and
- there are instances of concept A which are not instances of concept B.
Hypernym and hyponym
This kind of generalization versus specialization (or particularization) is reflected in either of the contrasting words of the word pair hypernym and hyponym. A hypernym as a generic stands for a class or group of equally-ranked items...... such as tree does for peach and oak; or ship for cruiser and steamer. Whereas a hyponym is one of the items included in the generic, such as lily and daisy are included in flower, and bird and fish in animal. A hypernym is superordinate to a hyponym, and a hyponym is subordinate to hypernym.
- Ceteris paribus
- Generic antecedent
- inheritance (object-oriented programming),
- Faulty generalization
- Hasty generalization
- Homotopy lifting property
- Mutatis mutandis
- Lumpers and splitters
- Class diagram
- Ramer-Douglas-Peucker algorithm
- Specialization, the opposite process