The hypostatizing of abstractions is the error against which Occam is continually fighting.
In common with other sciences, economics makes use of " abstractions"; but if for some problems we employ symbolic processes of reasoning, we must keep clearly in view the limits of their significance, and neither endow the symbols with attributes they can never possess, nor lose sight of the realities behind them.
We define essences of course in a sense, but the essences of which men talk are abstractions, " creatures of the understanding."
The schools meanwhile resounded still to the interminable dispute upon abstractions.
"the highest purest light, the gentle wind, the harmony of sounds, the voice of all the aeons, and the beauty of their forms," all these being treated as abstractions and personified.