Is Math An Abstract Subject?

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Editorial Team

How do you perceive maths?—An abstract object or a concrete subject? This crucial query needs to be addressed with sheer patience! Many domains of mathematics unfolded from the study of real-world difficulties long before the mathematical principles and concepts were even recognized. Thus, it comes with its own set of concepts, rules, and formulas, which must be evaluated logically, using one’s own conscience. In this accord, let us ponder to analyze if maths is an abstract subject.

Abstract Subject- What is it exactly?

An abstract subject is anything that deals without a logical objective or goal and, thus has no application – or practicality. Basically, these subjects indulge in abstraction.

Abstraction is a method that involves shifting from a concrete scheme to a theoretical scenario. For instance, humans counted much before the invention of numbers and symbols. Shepherds used stones to keep a count of their sheep.

In Mathematics, the process of abstraction is demonstrated by a set of abstract structures. These structures are necessarily the letters and symbols that are used to denote numbers or quantities in a given equation and formula. For example, Complex Calculus, a branch of mathematics, deals with the study of rates of change. Calculus evolved as people worked to solve problems associated with the framework for modeling systems, the production of such models, and so on. 

Is Math An Abstract Subject?

Mathematics deals with numbers – and numbers are not real elements. They are fictitious theories, as whenever we calculate digits using formulas, we are playing with our imagination. Just like in movies, equations are characters, but none of them actually exist. All these advocates show maths as an abstract subject.

While we make tales of them, in reality, we cannot experience numbers. So, what is a number? Nobody has ever witnessed five in the wild. We can only find five of something— such as five elephants, five apples, five eggs, and so on. For example, if the equation”2+2=4″ is true, can we experience such a procedure? No, because there is no such thing as TWO of anything.

Mathematical objects encompass theories, relationships, configurations, patterns, and procedures. Mathematically speaking, the term abstraction is a cognitive representation of objects, where the student recognizes topics to construct a mental image of their own, known as abstract.

Why Is Abstract Mathematics Important? 

Through abstract mathematics, the fundamental essence of a mathematical theory can be extracted, that stays underlying in props and real-world objects. For instance, you may use maths calculations while solving maths puzzles. 

Abstract maths is often crucial because it carries the pledge of pragmatic applications. In that case, why should we grasp abstract mathematics? 

Abstraction is often equivalent to portability. A single mathematical notion can be implemented in several fields— on a number of entities.  For example, a set of the same calculations on stock received can be made by electrical and mechanical engineers, but the items on which they implement these computations vary.

Thus, abstract maths has the capability to instantaneously befit into any application, turning into non-abstract/ pragmatic maths. Thus, applications like modern physics, computers, science, and many other divisions count on abstract maths concepts.

Abstract Maths- What researchers perceive!

According to Joseph M Scandura,[1] abstract maths is gaining importance, and thus a few tips can ameliorate the teaching procedures. He suggests each chapter of maths can start with a brief history of its founder to increase motivation. 

According to Jennifer A. Kaminski,[2] undergraduate students may benefit more from learning mathematics through a single abstract, symbolic representation than concrete examples. The goal of teaching mathematics is to produce knowledge that students can apply to multiple situations, then presenting mathematical concepts through abstract instantiations can be more effective than a series of “Good examples.”


The nature of Math is not to deal with molecules, ions, or cells but with numbers, forms, chance, and algorithms. As a science of abstract objects, mathematics vigorously depends on reasoning rather than on inspection. But inspection can be crucial in the pragmatic sense.

Suppose somebody asks you: give me two. You would probably respond: two what? And that’s because maths on its own is just abstract. However, it is necessarily abstract until and unless you attach something tangible to it. Hence, it’s fair to conclude that mathematics builds upon ever-increasingly complex abstractions – and it is an abstract subject!


  1. Advance Organizers in Learning Abstract Mathematics: University of Pennsylvania (Scandura J.) (1067, May 1)
  2. The Advantage of Abstract Examples in Learning Math: Kaminski J. (2008 May)

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