Re: The "Group-Entity" Illusion

Ian Goddard (
Wed, 20 Jan 1999 02:09:01 -0500

At 08:50 PM 1/19/99 -0700, Frederick Mann wrote:

>> So the question is: Is the photo an illusion?
>> If yes, the collective entity is an illusion.
>> If no, then the collective entity is real.
>>Dick: The picture is actually in our perception, not on the paper.
>Furthermore, there's a fundamental difference between
>the dots on paper we perceive as a photo/picture and
>the supposed "collection of humans" some call "society."
>That difference lies in the largely fixed relationship
>between the dots on one piece of paper, and the very
>different kinds of "fluid" relationships (or lack of)
>between the individual humans some claim constitute a

IAN: Yet we can draw the same analogy with the "fluid" and non-fixed set of relations that is you by observing that you yourself are greater than the sum of your parts, as the sum total of the individual elements you're made of I've heard runs around $1.

The ordering of individuals in a system creates a de facto collective entity, be that entity real or an illusion. The main actor in Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" was in fact a collective entity that's widely know as "the invisible hand."

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