There are plenty of ways to classify stuff around us. Often times though, we might feel that there is a way that outstands among others. It reflects human-independent aspects of the world, not our classification practices or specific interests; it’s discovered rather than invented. We refer to kinds classified this way as natural. Typically, we assume that science is pretty much successful in discovering those kinds. Paradigmatic examples include chemical elements and physical particles. In this post, I’ll take a look at different ways to classify reality, and whether we, humans, have anything to do with it.
In the previous post, I’ve made an overview of what it is to be an object, how it is different from properties, and I’ve taken a look inside it. What I haven’t considered is an intuitive difference between objects like my chair, my phone, or Matt Berninger and entities like number 7, an apple, Monday, sadness, the architecture of ancient Rome, the proposition “I like coffee”, and the direction that my pencil is pointing at right now. What are they? On one hand, they can act as subjects, and some of them can be quantified over and thought of. From another, most of them are out of spacetime and we can’t tell their exact location. Following this intuitive distinction alone, objects from the second group are called abstract, as an opposite to concrete objects from the first group. Here, I’ll set off different ways to draw a line between them.
I’ll start this post with a common and plausible observation: there are things, and there are ways those things are. If you’ve read my previous post on properties this might sound familiar already. Those ways are properties that things possess. Here, I’ll delve deeper into the nature of things, or objects. What are they? What do they consist of? What is the relationship between objects and their properties?
There are things, and there are ways those things are. Those “ways” are called attributes, traits, characteristics, or properties. Are those properties distinct entities, like my mobile phone or an apple in your refrigerator? Or are they just a way we talk or think of things?
To be honest, I really struggled with the title. There are quite a few topics covered here, all of them are interconnected somehow, but which one is central? Finally, I came up with the one you see above. This post is about causation, and there are two major views on that. Both of those views stand upon two major topics: properties and the laws of nature. Your stance on those topics, in turn, depends on how you perceive induction.
The concept of truth seems ubiquitous. But what is it exactly? And what does it mean for something to be true?
From ancient times - I mean, really ancient, all the way before Plato, Aristotle and all, people have been entertaining themselves with a fancy question: what does the world consist of? What is the reality surrounding us? What is there? What is it like? Why?