Talk:Object (philosophy)

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Is this definition complete and correct? What is the difference to Object (computing) -- HJH

I would say that in object-oriented programming and object-oriented design the notion of object is used in a more specialized way. There the external world is modeled in the computer as a set of objects that exchange messages that can cause an object to change its state and send new messages to other objects, thus accomplishing certain behaviour.
In OOP the objects can have properties (usually called members or attributes) and there can also be relationships, sometimes explicitly indicated as such and sometimes only in the form of members that point to other objects. So if the current definition for philosophical object is correct (but I know computer science better than philosophy) then the OOP objects are a subset or subclass of the philosophical objects.
Whether every philosphical object is also an OOP object is a matter of debate. The OO proponents often claim that everything can be modeled that way, which would mean that the answer is yes, but this is by no means uncontroversial.
Finally, there is the problem that not all definitions of an object in the OO world are the same, and that these definitions are sometimes heavily criticized from other areas such as data modeling and database design (which is my area of research). I have seen claims that the statement that "objects have identity" is meaningless (how can something not have identity?) or completely false (OO people often mean with it that they don't have to specify an effective way to identify the object, i.e., they don't give a key, which in some sense is exactly the opposite of saying that the object has identity). IMO these criticisms are not completely unjustified. -- Jan Hidders 09:08 Aug 16, 2002 (PDT)

I need to add the Unification Thought definitions of Subject and Object, which are variations on the standard Western philosophical meanings. --Ed Poor

Go ahead, but I'd like a more general answer to the question. (I deleted the digression part of this discussion, please put it elsewhere) --HJH

Merge with objecthood[edit]

Same subject. Santa Sangre 02:26, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree - why don't you go ahead - there seems little opposition. "Objecthood" sounds like some kind of neologism anyways. Iancarter 00:08, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Objecthood is now merged into here - from Feb 2006, it was the oldest outstanding Wikipedia merge request until now. Dl2000 02:45, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Pretty good article[edit]

I came here to check out what Wikipedia would have to say on this most obtuse and strange concept, and I have to say I was impressed. I particularly liked the part about how objects are "anything that can have properties or relations to other objects" - I think this best sums up what an object is, especially in a logical context. Perhaps it's necessary to include more discussion about logic and how logic is different from, say, phenomenology... in determining what things are objects (they happen to agree on a lot of things, interestingly... I dunno... more experienced people may be able to better decide).

Anyway just wanted to say: good article. Everyone's done a terrific job here.

150.203.11.219 03:52, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

It's also a good article because of the subdued "your mother" reference in the opening paragraph. Also, on an unrelated note, I thought it was really cool how the concepts of objects, properties and classes in the philosophical sense relate to the same concepts in Object Oriented Programming. Cool stuff man.75.95.104.13 (talk) 03:20, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


NAH DONT DO IT CAUSE LIKE ITS DIFFERENT. like if your researching for accounting, your not going to look for object, your looking for entity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.253.183.98 (talk) 21:34, 31 March 2009 (UTC)


As Long as many countries in the Middle East keep referring to Israel, and America, as Entities, then I say it should remain a seperate definintion! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.13.123.188 (talk) 00:15, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Merger of entity with object (philosophy)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was not to merge the articles. Bilby (talk) 23:59, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

There's been a distinct improvement in Wikipedia. A few years ago, say at the 1 mil article mark, you couldn't even use the term entity. The so-called editors would laugh you to scorn. Ok, now it is a legitimate term, but what to do with it? The origin of our term goes back to Greek philosophy. The entity is a perfectly universal term, meaning anything whatever that exists in any way. It is the object studied by ontology. Aristotle distinguished between independent existence and existence only in something else, such as a color. Thoughts are in humans; they do not exist independently. Since then the entity usually means something that exists and is not thought only; that is, something objective. The subjective, which is just as much of an entity, though of a different kind, is excluded. But now, in modern usage, we have something of a return to subjective entities, which exist only in the mind, but determine behavior. So, what to do? Semantically I got no objection to a merger, but I fear there are enough modern usages to justify 2 articles. Therefore on the grounds of material available I'm tentatively opposed to a merger. It would be interesting to see any other opinions on this. We could get this going. Meanwhile I think I may do some work on entity, which 2 years ago would not really have been tolerated. Wikipedia is gradually managing to produce some education here.Dave (talk) 23:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Neither article is very understandable to the lay reader, me for instance. However both seem to contain some useful information. I know more about the topics after having read them. I would vote to oppose merge since that would seem to add more confusion.12.172.189.209 (talk) 16:39, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Challenge[edit]

"In a more restricted sense, an object is something that can have properties and bear relations to other objects. On this account, properties and relations (as well as propositions) are not included among objects, but are explicitly contrasted with them, as falling into a different logical category. Sets and universals may or may not be objects on this account."

You just finished developing the idea that an object can be anything, and now you say, well, sets and universals may not be objects. I seriously doubt this concept but whether someone else holds it or not, the idea would need to be developed at least to the definatory point.Dave (talk) 10:11, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

What a terrible article[edit]

In particular, the introduction. We know from the title that it is to be an explication of the word 'object' as used in philosophy. The etymology, which is not too useful for a philosophical understanding, should really be put in a dictionary. Then there's the lengthy segue into unrelated wordiness, such as 'Consciousness therefore is an act of cognition that takes in the self, which can never be doubted, as it would have to be the self who doubts, and some doubtable notes, which philosophy calls objects, which carry with them the understood possibility of being in error. '

Not only is this of dubious validity, but it is of dubious relevance to the topic as well.

Overall the whole thing reads like some sophomoric dissertation on a barely understood concept. There are reasonable elements in the article, but they are diluted by the surrounding self-arguments and verbiage.

A very poor article, even by Wikipedia's standards.

Not a troll, just thought that perhaps some outside criticism might be helpful. 87.139.192.244 (talk) 17:37, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Then improve it. Thepigdog (talk) 08:13, 6 July 2014 (UTC)