Re: The "Group-Entity" Illusion

Ian Goddard (
Wed, 20 Jan 1999 11:57:46 -0500

At 09:04 AM 1/20/99 -0700, Dick wrote:

>Ian writes:
> 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."
>"Collective entity" seems to involve a contradiction, since a collection of
>objects can't itself be a physical object, it exists solely as a concept.

IAN: A stone is an object, and as I understand, it's composed of "a collection of objects" known as molecules, atoms, and subatomic entities; which directly falsifies your claim that "a collection of objects can't itself be a physical object."

>But I suspect we're once again embroiled in more a semantic than a
>substantive disagreement here. It all hinges on your definition of
>"entity". To me an entity is a "thing", a physical existent that can be
>perceived via the senses (or extensions of the senses). Apparently you wish
>to include concepts such as sets, relations and systems under the
>definition of "entity". But this usage generates confusion, since there are
>obvious basic differences between physical things on the one hand and
>arrangements of things on the other, and grave errors ensue from failing to
>distinguish different categories.

IAN: Your error of saying physical objects (which are collections of entities) cannot exist seems the gravest and only error here.

>Smith's famous invisible hand - virtually synonymous with the extropian
>principle of spontaneous organisation - is the internal organizing
>principle of a complex relational nexus.

IAN: And the "complex relational nexus" is the "collective entity." I think that the case to the contrary is just semantics.

Visit Ian Williams Goddard -------->

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