Object

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)
Authors
Henry Laycock
Queen's University
Abstract
In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell writes: Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition, or can be counted as one, I call a term. This, then, is the widest word in the philosophical vocabulary. I shall use as synonymous with it the words unit, individual and entity. The first two emphasize the fact that every term is one, while the third is derived from the fact that every term has being, i.e. is in some sense. A man, a moment, a number, a class, a relation, a chimera, or anything else that can be mentioned, is sure to be a term'. Now in this remark, a certain extremely general, topic-neutral use of ‘object’ is singled out, a use in which the expression is treated as equivalent to (equally neutral) uses of ‘term’, ‘entity’, ‘unit’, ‘individual’, and ‘thing’. In addition, a claim is made to the effect that the content of the expression, with its emphasis on one, is such as to be adequate to comprehend the sum-total of existence, to include whatever there may be. The paper addresses the question of what this claim means, and whether it might be true.
Keywords object  being  individual  entity  substance  particular  universal  singular  plural  non-count noun
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