Re: Group Entity "Illusion"

Freespeak (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 15:40:10 -0700

OK, Ian. My paraphrasing: You see a difference between "constellation" and "galaxy" in that the former is a collective entity defined by an arbitrarily selected number of stars you regard as ordered when viewed from a particular angle or point of view.

To someone who has seen pictures or images of a galaxy, a galaxy would be seen as a galaxy, no matter from what angle or viewpoint the galaxy is seen (except perhaps when the viewer is somewhere within that galaxy). Could we describe a galaxy as an "objective collective entity?"

Does your notion of a "constellation-type collective entity" imply that if anyone were to define a number of arbitrarily selected units and regarded them as somehow ordered, then this definition, arbitrary selection, and idea of order would bring about the existence of a collective entity?

Frederick Mann

At 03:36 PM 1/28/99 -0500, Ian Goddard <> wrote:
>At 12:19 PM 1/28/99 -0700, Frederick Mann wrote:
>>> Clearly, no problem or logical confusion with the
>>> definition of "collective entity" as "the ordering
>>> of individuals in a system" as been demonstrated,
>>> which isn't to say that a problem can't be found.
>>Can you see a fundamental difference between "galaxy"
>>on the one hand, and "constellation" on the other?
> IAN: A constellation is a collective entity
> defined by an arbitrary selection of ordered
> stars based upon a given point of view. A
> galaxy is also a collective entity defined by
> an ordering of stars, however, this ordering
> isn't arbitrary or based upon a given point
> of view, but may be caused by a black hole.

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