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Boydstun

Entities and Other Categories, Concrete and Abstract

16 posts in this topic

[This post is not on a book I’ve studied in composing my own, but a window into the latter in progress.]

Entities and Other Categories, Concrete and Abstract

Philosophers often use the term entity to mean any item whatever. That is one customary usage and perfectly all right. Rand decided to take entity into her technical vocabulary as something more restricted. She went on to name some fundamental categories that cannot exist without connection to entities: action, attributes, and relationships.[1]

In Rand’s view, mine too, all of those categories have some instances in concrete existents. Actions, attributes, and relationships are not entities in Rand’s sense. To qualify as an entity, I say and think Rand could have been brought around to say, an entity has to do more than be able to stand as the subject of predication (or as the argument of a propositional function). Running or oscillation can be the subjects of predicates, but they can do so as actions, not entities. Fraction and containment can be the subjects of predicates, but they can do so as relations, not entities. Twill and vesicular quality can be subjects of predicates, but they can do so as attributes, not entities.

One could include the category relationship under the category attribute.[2] Rand 1966 instead called out relationship as a fourth category, adding to entity, action, and attribute of 1957. Action of course could be subsumed under attribute and relationship in their ordinary scope. Actions of a body such as its angular momentum or its internal kinetic energy could be said to be attributes of that body. Actions of a body such as its translational motion or its infrared emissions from its heat or its interference potentials denominated by its DeBroglie wavelength could be said to be relationships to other things. Rand highlights action by setting it as a category alongside the other three. In the category action, I should say, include the phenomena dealt with in kinematics, dynamics, and kinetics. Include also the phenomena of statics and strength of materials. Include the formation of stars, planets, oceans, and organisms. Include chemical reactions and phase changes. Include as actions, also, organic growth, locomotion and the activities that are consciousness.

Rand’s categories of entity, action, attribute, and relationship are her broadest categories of existents articulating her broad circumstance Existence is Identity. Though consciousness is one of her axiomatic concepts, its ontology is under action and attribute, and as a concrete operating system, under entity.

Rand specified a relation of entity to material substance: in specific amount, which always it is,[3] material substance is an entity. For example, an ounce-coin of gold or the earth’s atmosphere would be entities.[4] Departing from Rand, in my ontology, I take as an Entity not only particular amount of material, but the material itself regardless of amount. Material such as wood bears properties such as temperature, tensile strength, flammability, and thermal conductivity. The dimensions of the wood are irrelevant to the bearing of such characteristics.[5] A material bears some attributes independently of the material’s extent, and those attributes are factors in specific causal interactions. Such material, independently of its particular spatial dimensions, I classify as Entity, a concrete Entity. Not only matter, but physical fields too, I include under Entity. I’ll capitalize the term to indicate when I’m speaking of entity in my sense broader than Rand’s entity.[6] Notice that on my broader concept, (i) the mass-energy of the universe and (ii) spacetime are Entities whether they are found by our modern physics to be finite or infinite, constant or variable. The axis of the earth’s rotation, though it has no causal powers, is also a concrete Entity, existing in physical spacetime and having determination from material factors.

(The fundamental categories in my ontology beyond Entity are three, though not the three selected by Rand. Either set of three can be distributed exhaustively among the other set. My set and the reasons for their selection are lain out in my book in progress, and I’ll not show them here.)

Once in Fountainhead Rand used the phrase “concrete reality,” and this was in one of its usual senses: as a contrast to abstraction.[7] There the sort of abstraction spoken of was long-term goals with understanding of principles behind them. The concrete reality there spoken of was actual behaviors of people, at odds with their own poorly understood long-term objectives. Rand’s usage of concrete there exercised two of the specific definitions of the term in my American Heritage Dictionary: “Existing in reality or in real experience; perceptible by the senses; real.” “Designating a thing or group of things as opposed to an abstraction.”

Also under those meanings, Rand used concrete in Atlas as specifics and particulars about a character’s actions and responsibilities in contrast to evasive, stale generalities people stated about him.[8] And in the “About the Author” of Atlas, she wrote that concretes differ between (i) her characters’ lives lived by her philosophy and (ii) her own life lived by that philosophy. “The abstractions are the same.”

There is another, closely related sense of concrete set out in my dictionary: “Relation to an actual specific thing or instance; not general, particular.” Do not neglect that word instance.

Rand began to use concrete in her public writings under this third meaning—instanced particular of an abstraction—in “The Objectivist Ethics” (1961), in which she began to expose some of her view of the character of concepts. There she spoke of “perceptual concretes” being isolated from other particulars by abstraction which can then be integrated into the mental unity that is a concept. She most fully worked out her theory on the instance-relation of concretes to abstractions in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1966–67). She remarked in oral exchange, around 1970: “Abstractions as such do not exist. Only concretes exist” (ITOE App., 173). I should not go along with that, at least at face value. Potentials, as well as actuals, are part of existence in my own view. My recipe for brownies exists not only in cookbook text and in thoughts and in occasions of past makings of brownies, but in potential makings. Even if I could not get Rand to go along with my placement of potentials as such in existence together with my mixing of potentials into all abstractions, she could easily go along with adding the qualification “apart from thought” to her two statements, yielding: “Abstractions as such do not exist apart from thought. Only concretes exist apart from thought.”

Leonard Peikoff writes in 1991 that abstraction “is the power of selective focus and treatment; it is the power to separate mentally and make cognitive use of an aspect of reality that cannot exist apart from thought” (OPAR 78).[9] I shall take it as the Objectivist view, as well as the fact of the matter, that only concretes exist apart from thought. Additionally, I maintain that potentials apart from thought, like actuals apart from thought, are only concrete.

Peikoff continues, however, by saying that integration of a group of items similar in an aspect grasped in abstraction results in a concept, which he calls “a mental entity.” Perhaps he means only “a mental item,” which is what I should say of that what. Perhaps he means there are not only concrete entities, but abstract entities, abstractions having the ontological standing entity.

It is tempting to think of mathematical items, such as a complex number, a right triangle, or a vector space, as abstract entities (or abstract Entities). And if not physically, concretely instantiated, then purely abstract entities. The complex number (3 +7i) would be a purely abstract particular entity, purely a possibility for exemplification in concretes. The purely abstract entity has its mathematical characteristic suite of possibilities, which, if the abstract entity is also exemplified concretely, are also concrete potentials. That picture is mine, not expressly Rand’s, but mine fully only if we replace abstract entity with abstract item (or with something better yet to come).

The status of mathematical items as abstract is not merely on account of requiring a process of abstraction to be comprehended. After all, there are concretes that also require abstraction to grasp. Such would be neutrinos, electromagnetic fields, physical spacetime, and economic demand at a price. Mathematical items are abstract fundamentally (i) because they consist of set-membership relations or other relations that are only abstract and (ii) because of their temporal standing and their relation to concretes in their very different temporal standing. I restrict entity or Entity to ontology of only concrete existence.

Purely mathematical existence, Yes. Purely mathematical entities, No. Rather, purely mathematical items.

We prove that on certain suppositions certain mathematical items, attributes, or relations exist and that certain others do not exist. Mathematical existence per se is only an obtaining, a certain fitness in an abstract scheme. That is why mathematical existence requires deductive proof and why deductive proof suffices. We have two roads, developed from the world in two different ways and affording access to the world and its aspects in two different ways. One is the empirical road, the other the purely mathematical. On the first, we continue to measure ever more finely whether there is any difference in magnitude of the inertial and the gravitational mass of a body. On the second, we do not measure squares and their diagonals to gain further assurance that a diagonal is incommensurable with the sides of the perfect square. Existence (or non-existence) of mathematical items and their attributes and relations are creatively discovered, although not created in a radically originative way by the human intellect attaining them. Kant was correct in rejecting as a human intellectual power any such radically originative intellect (intellectual intuition, in his parlance). However, we should go further than Kant on this point and recognize that no such power could exist for any sort of intellect whatever, call it divine intellect or what you will. The notion of intellectual intuition with that creative sense is only a chimera, a slip into the falsehood of the primacy of consciousness over existence. We should reject as well Kant’s notion of any human faculty at all that is radically originative of Euclidean space in the concrete, physical world. That too, had been a slip into the primacy of consciousness over existence.


[1]  AS 1016; ITOE 7, 264–79.

[2] Bolzano did that.

[3] Cf. Aristotle, Phy. 188b9–20; Metaph. 1033a5–22.

[4] ITOE 15; Aristotle, Metaph. 1003b16–19, 1028b3–5, 1043b13–14.

[5] Among such characteristics are the intensive variables of classical statistical mechanics.

[6] Heidegger’s technical sense of entity, descendent of Kant’s object, far from Rand’s entity or my Entity, is pulled together by Béatrice Han-Pile in “Early Heidegger’s Appropriation of Kant” in Blackwell’s A Companion to Heidegger (2005).

[7] ET XII, 369.

[8] AS 879.

[9] See further, David Kelley (1984), “A Theory of Abstraction” in Cognition and Brain Theory 7:329–57; David Kelley and Janet Krueger (1984), “The Psychology of Abstraction” in Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 14(1):43–67.

 

Edited by Boydstun

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7 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Departing from Rand, in my ontology, I take as an Entity not only particular amount of material, but the material itself regardless of amount. Material such as wood bears properties such as temperature, tensile strength, flammability, and thermal conductivity. The dimensions of the wood are irrelevant to the bearing of such characteristics.[5] A material bears some attributes independently of the material’s extent, and those attributes are factors in specific causal interactions.

Aren't you just sort of moving Aristotle's Metaphysics to the Ontological realm?  Rand rejected essence as having a metaphysical being apart from a material being.

Concepts such as tensile strength, heat, temperature, thermal conductivity, etc., exist only in relation to other things - not as things in themselves.  Meaning, in order to arrive at the tensile strength of a newly invented metal alloy wire, you'd place it in a machine (designed along established, epistemic standards) and measure it's strength against some other established, epistemic standard.  The concept (unit) of Tensile Strength is epistemic, not ontological, and it's one that we formed because it's useful.

Edited by New Buddha

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Thank you for posting this here, Mr. Boydstun.  

The idea that "To qualify as an entity, I say and think Rand could have been brought around to say, an entity has to do more than be able to stand as the subject of predication (or as the argument of a propositional function)" is relevant to a recent topic here, and I intend to link this thread in there.

Concerning material as entity I don't think "attributes are causal" is enough of a justification.  Without a specific extent the material would not exist to participate in any causal relations at all and so casting away extent as nonessential is not workable.  On the other hand, I am welcoming a move to regard spacetime as an entity because the objection that the existence of a sample of wood is conditional upon its having an identity including a particular extent, the existence of spacetime is unconditional and so that objection cannot apply.  Rand addresses a question in the ITOE appendix that touches on this issue where she regards a square-inch of ground as a valid entity, but that according to her is an epistemological move not a metaphysical or ontological claim.

Also, there is a usage of entity "in an extended sense" in both the Peikoff's and Kelley's  works.  The extended sense of entity stresses the 'perceptual given' quality of entities, and refers to smoke, wind, shadows, or anything given to us by our senses that that appears to us to stand out from its background.  This is another way to justify the peculiar usage "mental entities" as particular thoughts do seem (subjectively) discrete enough to be objects of introspective attention.

 

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1 hour ago, Grames said:

On the other hand, I am welcoming a move to regard spacetime as an entity because the objection that the existence of a sample of wood is conditional upon its having an identity including a particular extent, the existence of spacetime is unconditional and so that objection cannot apply.  Rand addresses a question in the ITOE appendix that touches on this issue where she regards a square-inch of ground as a valid entity, but that according to her is an epistemological move not a metaphysical or ontological claim.

I don't quite understand the use of the term "unconditional" wrt spacetime, since spacetime is also a "mental entity" - i.e. an epistemic abstraction - and not metaphysical or ontological.  And spacetime is a property of mass, correct?  Meaning that the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, etc. all have unique frames of reference.

Edited by New Buddha

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6 hours ago, New Buddha said:

I don't quite understand the use of the term "unconditional" wrt spacetime, since spacetime is also a "mental entity" - i.e. an epistemic abstraction - and not metaphysical or ontological.  And spacetime is a property of mass, correct?  Meaning that the Sun, the Earth, the Moon, etc. all have unique frames of reference.

The context here is ontology, an aspect of metaphysics.  What exists does not need to be easily comprehensible in order to exist,  that would be letting primacy-of-consciousness premise sneak into our tent.  Spacetime is unconditional not merely in the strong sense that it is found everywhere we look, but rather spacetime is the everywhere.  Furthermore spacetime has attributes such a electric permittivity and magnetic permeability,  and the ratio of those quantities sets the speed of light in a vacuum, a vacuum being a defined as the absence of everything but the space itself.  (edit: It is entities that have attributes.) Relativity considers a rotating mass to impart a sheer energy to the space around it.   Spacetime participates in a relationship with inertial mass (the so-called curvature) and relationships are primarily between entities.   Spacetime as entity is consistent with the full-plenum ontology, the claim that the universe cannot have gaps or holes in it much less huge stretches of true nothingness between particles.   There exists a strong case for spacetime as entity in local volumes.

Your question does raise the issue of what is the appropriate level of knowledge context for setting out an ontology.  The pre-Socratic and pre-scientific "first philosopher" Thales asserted an ontology with his "everything is water".  So long as we do not engage in circularity in making our fundamentals of philosophy dependent on a sophisticated idea like spacetime there is no reason to restrict our understanding of what exists to a pre-scientific level, or some intermediate scientific understanding preferred because it is easier to understand. 

Edited by Grames

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6 hours ago, Grames said:

Your question does raise the issue of what is the appropriate level of knowledge context for setting out an ontology. 

I think the larger point of the Post is to be careful and keep ontology out of the equations.  This is something touched upon in the video by Carlo Rovelli, a physicist that I had a good deal of respect for (he is behind Relational Quantum Mechanics and Loop Quantum Gravity) and who also has a good respect for philosophy.

I think allowing ontology to creep into the equations is something much more prone to happen in physics than engineering, because in engineering, measurements are for the most part "good enough" for what ever purpose is being served.  In Architecture/Construction, +/- 1/2 inch is usually fine.  But this holds too for physics.  Physics should not be viewed as the pursuit of an isomorphic map (or model) of "reality" with a 1-to -1 correspondence with "reality".  Or equations are tools, nothing more.

On 1/23/2017 at 8:13 AM, Boydstun said:

Material such as wood bears properties such as temperature, tensile strength, flammability, and thermal conductivity. The dimensions of the wood are irrelevant to the bearing of such characteristics.[5] A material bears some attributes independently of the material’s extent, and those attributes are factors in specific causal interactions.

The list of items above are epistemic measurements, and not ontic attributes of an entity.  In the below diagram, Shear and Bending Moment are not ontic attributes borne by a wood, concrete or steel reinforced beam.  Nor do Shear and Moment have any "metaphysical" status. They are just observed measurements of what happens when a point load is applied to a beam.  They are abstracted from empirical observations and experiments.

Shear_Moment_Diagram.svg.png

Edited by New Buddha

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.

I earned a B.S. degree in Physics (minor in Philosophy) and did some grad school in Physics. I then earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, from which I made money.

Cross-sectional area of a beam is a physical thing and has the magnitude it has regardless of whether we measure it and regardless of our method of measuring it or our units of measure or whether we use base 8 or base 10 in the numerical expression of the area magnitude. Set theory we employ (at least implicitly) in our measurement scales are abstract, not concrete and therefore not physical. Similarly, the choices of coordinate systems available in an engineering mathematics text do not yield different physical magnitude results of the calculations we perform with those various coordinate systems. Which coordinate system for calculation we use is a free choice not affecting the concrete magnitude, and we select a coordinate system that will be most convenient for us. Physical magnitudes exist independently of our measurement of them. The span of my hand has a certain ratio to my height. That ratio is nothing depending on our choice of scales or our undertaking to ascertain what the ratio is. That ratio is a concrete existent, specifically a concrete relation, not an abstract one. Similarly it goes with the relation of geometry as in Euclid, where we use no scales, to Descartes' analytic correspondence set over that geometry. It is what we call synthetic geometry (as in Euclid) that is physical structure independently of us. Descartes' analytic geometry uses (at least implicitly) set-membership relations, which is abstract not concrete. Analytic geometry depends on our special facility with abstract sets, but it also depends on the synthetic geometric structure to which it is being overlain and which makes it useful to us in engineering or in physics. Force and its degree is physical and independent of us; force per unit area and its degree, such as a torsional shearing stress and its degree, is physical and independent of our coming to those appropriate concepts and our discernments of the existence and magnitudes of those physical referents. Coming up with widest distinctions such as abstract v. concrete and refining more and more what is that distinction and which depends on which in what ways are good work for theoretical philosophy, and results there will have ramifications for theory of practical value, such as moral value, as well as have the loveliness of its own wide vista assimilating all science, mathematics, common experience, everyday knowledge, and the having and making of life.

Edited by Boydstun

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I could be misunderstanding your point, but I do find your post interesting.

Here's some quotes from ITOE (Exact Measurement and Continuity, p. 190) that I see relevant to the discussion.

"Everything that we discuss, everything, is done from a human viewpoint and has to be, because there is no such thing as "reality in itself."  That is one of the concepts of Kant's that we have to be very careful of.  If we were omniscient like God, we would still have to perceive reality by our God-like means of perception, and we would have to speak of exactitude from that view point.  But "things in themselves" - as separated from consciousness and yet discussed in terms of consciousness - is an invalid equivocation."

[...]

"Therefore, when I say that for measurement there has to be a unit of measurement, I mean that even when you take a submicroscopic, conceptual type measurement, that type ultimately has to be reduced back to our standard of measurement, which is the perceptually given, and nothing more or less."

[...]

"When you speak of measurement, you always have to define contextually your method of measurement.  So that if you say it is so much measured by a ruler, or it is something else measured by some fancy apparatus, you have complied with the requirements of absolute correspondence to reality.  You have said it measures so much by such and such means."

 

In this sense, concepts such as tensile strength, bending moment, modulus of elasticity, temperature, weight, mass, color, thermal conductivity, etc. are measurements of attributes by a method, and not ontic attributes of entities themselves.

 

1 hour ago, Boydstun said:

Similarly it goes with the relation of geometry as in Euclid, where we use no scales, to Descartes' analytic correspondence set over that geometry. It is what we call synthetic geometry (as in Euclid) that is physical structure independently of us.

Euclidean geometry does not exist independent of us, and I'm certain you are not a mathematical Platonist, so I'm not clear what you mean.  Euclidean geometry is a useful tool, but it is derived from our perceptual and conceptual mechanisms, i.e. how we see the world from our human viewpoint.  There is some interesting work on the internet about the difficulties of teaching geometry and mathematics to the blind.  

pythag.png

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Who needs Aristotle or Plato for realism at our present stage of science and philosophy, whether the realism is in philosophy of perception, philosophy of mathematics, theory of concepts, or philosophy of physics?

I wasn’t sure SK to whom you wanted to address your question. Perhaps to each of the contributors so far to this thread. I’m also not sure to which of those areas of philosophy just named you wonder about some sort of realism perhaps on offer by me (or Budd or Grames). I hope, at any rate, you do not give Plato/Aristotle a corner on what may count as realism in any of those areas. That would not be true to the varieties of realisms on offer by the philosophy-profession leaders in those areas today.

In philosophy of perception, I tend towards the realism of A. D. Smith.

http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/ArticleDiscussions/2141_2.shtml#49

In theory of concepts, Ayn Rand gets some favor from me.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?/topic/13542-thought-and-measurement/#comment-199701

My variety of realism in philosophy of mathematics and in philosophy of physics is still in development. But of note for the latter would be my essay “Space, Rotation, Relativity.”

http://www.objectivity-archive.com/abstracts.html

Like most philosophers today (me too), Rand and her leading expositors, reject Aristotle’s mechanics; method of science; overextension of teleology; overdone substance, essence, and formal causation; matter-form hylomorphism; as well as his version of moderate realism in universals. In his Ph.D. dissertation (1964), Leonard Peikoff argued for the inadequacy of Aristotle’s ontological rendition (and Plato’s, of course) of the principle of non-contradiction.

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21 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Nor do Shear and Moment have any "metaphysical" status. They are just observed measurements of what happens when a point load is applied to a beam.  They are abstracted from empirical observations and experiments.

NB can you clarify what you mean by this?

Your phrase "what happens when" I take as a reference to metaphysical identity and causality/action, it refers to the reality of wood, iron etc.

You state that "Sheer" and "Moment" ARE "just" observed measurements of the aforesaid metaphysical identity and causality/action. Then you restate that "They" are abstracted FROM observations and experiments.  (which strikes me as odd as I equate an observed measurement with observations)

 

In summary, you state "shear" and "moment" do not have "metaphysical" status, but that they are (or are abstractions from) observations of reality (metaphysical identity and causality/action). 

What do you mean by stating they do not have metaphysical status? 

16 hours ago, New Buddha said:

In this sense, concepts such as tensile strength, bending moment, modulus of elasticity, temperature, weight, mass, color, thermal conductivity, etc. are measurements of attributes by a method, and not ontic attributes of entities themselves.

What do you define as an ontic attribute?  Is this philosophically speaking mode of perception dependent?  If Martians perceived the world in buzzes and twitches, and if wood had a different response to buzzes and twitches than iron, would the concept of "buzz response" be ontic to a Martian?

What is the relevance of the mode of perception or the method of measurements on the metaphysical status of an attribute?  Reality reacts and behaves independently, it IS, independent of what we are or how we perceive. 

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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On January 23, 2017 at 10:04 PM, Grames said:

Also, there is a usage of entity "in an extended sense" in both the Peikoff's and Kelley's  works.  The extended sense of entity stresses the 'perceptual given' quality of entities, and refers to smoke, wind, shadows, or anything given to us by our senses that that appears to us to stand out from its background.  This is another way to justify the peculiar usage "mental entities" as particular thoughts do seem (subjectively) discrete enough to be objects of introspective attention.

That is not what the extended sense of entity is for Peikoff or Rand at all. The literature says the exact opposite. The perceptual given is the primary sense. 

Mental entities (concepts) are made such by actual concrete substitution with symbols.  

A square inch as an entity in the extended sense and clouds are in the same boat as a pile of sand for Rand. Both are a collection of entities.

Edited by Plasmatic

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9 hours ago, Plasmatic said:

That is not what the extended sense of entity is for Peikoff or Rand at all. The literature says the exact opposite. The perceptual given is the primary sense. 

Mental entities (concepts) are made such by actual concrete substitution with symbols.  

A square inch as an entity in the extended sense and clouds are in the same boat as a pile of sand for Rand. Both are a collection of entities.

Yes but,  the extended sense of entity stresses the 'perceptual given' quality of entities, such that things which are strictly not entities are promoted to such status anyway because they are given to us that way by our perception of them as seeming wholes, as things-in-their-own-right.  You are correct about the central importance of the perceptual scale for both the primary and extended senses, and I had not denied it.  

Boydstun in the chapter he presented here is doing an ontology informed by state of the art human scientific knowledge, not laying down an a priori metaphysics (I would be surprised to be wrong here).   Rand's usage "mental entity" seems odd to bring up in that context, so I contributed what I hoped was relevant context.  I think you (Plasmatic) are shadow-boxing because I see no point of disagreement between us.

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On January 26, 2017 at 5:10 PM, Grames said:

Yes but,  the extended sense of entity stresses the 'perceptual given' quality of entities, such that things which are strictly not entities are promoted to such status anyway because they are given to us that way by our perception of them as seeming wholes, as things-in-their-own-right.  You are correct about the central importance of the perceptual scale for both the primary and extended senses, and I had not denied it.  

Neither the solar system, general motors, or a subatomic particle are "given to us" by our perception as wholes. These are the examples given in OPAR as the extended sense of entity.  I dont see where you get this from.

Edited by Plasmatic

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On 1/29/2017 at 2:20 AM, Plasmatic said:

Neither the solar system, general motors, or a subatomic particle are "given to us" by our perception as wholes. These are the examples given in OPAR as the extended sense of entity.  I dont see where you get this from.

Explain Rand's usage of the peculiar term "mental entities" referring to concepts, if it isn't this extended sense of entity.  Strictly, concepts are attributes of the man holding them.  That's where I get it, trying to make sense of Rand.  I have a high degree of certainty that I've got this one right, at least.

Also, Kelley gives the examples of shadows and smoke for the extended sense of entity in chapter 2 of Evidence of the Senses.  Peikoff's given examples are poor because they all rely on abstraction to even create the context in which they could be called entities, but Kelley's examples are self-evident.  

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On January 30, 2017 at 2:00 AM, Grames said:

Explain Rand's usage of the peculiar term "mental entities" referring to concepts, if it isn't this extended sense of entity.  Strictly, concepts are attributes of the man holding them.  That's where I get it, trying to make sense of Rand.  I have a high degree of certainty that I've got this one right, at least.

Huh? I don't get how you are going from concepts are an extended sense of entity to [i[ the extended sense of entity is about the perception of objects as wholes[/i]??? 

Concepts are integrations held together by concrete symbols. We perceive these unities via language. 

I don't see what your after.

(edit: I agree that "mental entity" is not a ontological actor for Rand. )

Edited by Plasmatic

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