To generalize means to think  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

To generalize means to think is a dictum by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel recorded in Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820).

In full, the dictum reads as "An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think."

Its original German reads:

Jede Vorstellung ist eine Verallgemeinerung, und diese gehört dem Denken an. Etwas allgemein machen, heißt, es denken. ("Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts oder Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft im Grundrisse", Berlin, 1833, p. 35)

Various English translations:

  • "Any idea is a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize something means to think it."
  • "Every representation is a generalization, and this is inherent in thought. To generalize something means to think it."
  • "Any idea is a universalization, and universalizing is a property of thinking. To universalize something means to think."
  • "An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think."




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "To generalize means to think" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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