Abstraction: Dealing with ideas rather than events.

Abstraction is also a state of mind occupied by abstract ideas.  When we consider the branch of a tree by itself, or the color of leaves, as separate from their size or shape, the act is abstraction.  When we consider, softness, virtue, existence, as separate from particular objects, that is abstraction.  

Abstraction is the ground-work of classification, by which things are arranged in orders, genera, and species.

Abstraction can also be a separation from worldly objects; the life of a recluse; the preoccupation of a mind to the exclusion of all else.

Abstraction is from the Latin ab (away) and trahere (to drag).