What is the difference between property and entity?

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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zuu
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What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:16 am

The question is within context of analytic philosophy of mind. More precisely about emergence of consciousness, mind or any other non physical phenomenon. I'm confused because sometimes entity is referred as substance(material or non-material), so everything else is property of material/non-material entity or substance. But when I heard about multiple entities, it hard to make a distinction, because every entity could be a property for another entity.

Property and substance dualism is even more confusing, because it presuppose distinction of material and non-material. So what is the difference between property and substance or entity anyway?

zuu
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:24 am

Ok, I finally understand. Correct me if I'm wrong. We can divide everything into parts (arbitrary). Each part can be labeled "entity" and properties are nothing but structural changes of that entity. Confusion rises only from folk psychology point of view. It seems that brain can generate something ontologically new, though it is fairly disputable, because there is no real example in the natural world. So naturally new entity is possible only as addition or subtraction, but property is change of the structure.

thought addict
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by thought addict » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:40 pm

zuu wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:24 am
Each part can be labeled "entity" and properties are nothing but structural changes of that entity.
Yes, in my (limited) understanding an entity would be some kind of object, which could be material (but need not be), say, a rock. A property of that entity would exist in the form of information about the exact nature (or behavior) of the entity. So, the rock's mass, size, density and color I would all understand to be properties of the rock. As you correctly note, altering the structure slightly of the rock can change its properties and under many circumstances this can be done arguably without changing the identity of the entity itself. It remains a rock (arguably the same rock) even if part of it is removed, reducing its properties of mass and volume.

Note also that properties can depend on the physics of the universe that the entity exists in rather than being just part of the entity itself. For example in a different universe with different physical laws, the same rock might have a different mass and a different color, in theory.

Because the properties themselves are a type of data about the entity, you could in some ways consider them to be metaphysical, but as you note, in most cases they correspond to some aspects of the physical structure of the object.

Things get interesting if you start to ask whether consciousness is a property of a brain. Then, is it metaphysical? Does it correspond to a physical structure?

zuu
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:38 am

Because the properties themselves are a type of data about the entity, you could in some ways consider them to be metaphysical
What makes property metaphysical? If we take for example H2O and two different physical structures for ice and liquid - what exactly is metaphysical here and why? Are emergent properties like Ice or liquid metaphysical?
Things get interesting if you start to ask whether consciousness is a property of a brain. Then, is it metaphysical? Does it correspond to a physical structure?
If consciousness is first person phenomenal experience it is hardly physical structure. Thought it is, for sure, realized by physical structure.

thought addict
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by thought addict » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:43 am

zuu wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:38 am
What makes property metaphysical? If we take for example H2O and two different physical structures for ice and liquid - what exactly is metaphysical here and why? Are emergent properties like Ice or liquid metaphysical?
I suppose I consider the properties metaphysical because they are nothing more than data about physical states in the same way that metadata are data about data.

A state of matter like ice or liquid exists as part of a categorization that humans make when they observe the macroscopic behavior of H2O molecules. Things like behavior and categories are again data. I believe that they are not directly physical in the sense that a molecule or perhaps a force is physical. They are abstract. We would not say that a triangle, as an abstract geometric concept, exists physically on its own though physical matter can obviously be observed to take on a triangular configuration.
zuu wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:38 am
Things get interesting if you start to ask whether consciousness is a property of a brain. Then, is it metaphysical? Does it correspond to a physical structure?
If consciousness is first person phenomenal experience it is hardly physical structure. Thought it is, for sure, realized by physical structure.
Yes, as I understand it, the property dualist would say it is a property of the physical structure that is the brain, whereas the substance dualist would say it is a distinct, non-physical substance that interacts with the physical substance of the brain (Descartes thought, via the pineal gland).

zuu
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:45 pm

Thanks for answers and comments. In understand what do you mean by metaphysical properties.
A state of matter like ice or liquid exists as part of a categorization that humans make when they observe the macroscopic behavior of H2O molecules.
Though I don't thing that micro-level physical state like H2O is something we observe before categorization of liquid or ice is gained. In practice there is that macro level perceptual experience about two different states, unless you are born in scientific white cube with all the directly physical(as you said) information(perception?) before you see real phenomenon of ice or liquid

thought addict
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by thought addict » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:09 pm

Sure, to any observer, ice and water and the rest of the macroscopic world appear to be the most intuitively real things there are. Our senses and brains have evolved to spot and process patterns in data about the world - that's what they do - so our conscious reality is built from such data. That's the mental side of reality versus the physical side which is all just piles of quarks and forces interacting. The important thing is that to the dualist, the mental side is just as real as the physical.

zuu
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 pm

The important thing is that to the dualist, the mental side is just as real as the physical.
if we see one or few molecules, this is physically real. And If we see googols of them? There is some staff(isn't it physical?) we label it "water", "ice" or whatever. Can't see difference in principle

thought addict
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by thought addict » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:00 am

zuu wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 pm
The important thing is that to the dualist, the mental side is just as real as the physical.
if we see one or few molecules, this is physically real. And If we see googols of them? There is some staff(isn't it physical?) we label it "water", "ice" or whatever. Can't see difference in principle
Right, the water itself (huge pile of molecules) is physically real. The water behaves in certain ways, due to physics. Some of this behavior is identified by our senses and categorized in our brains. The water reflects certain wavelengths of light (a physical property) which we experience as colors (a mental property). The water has a certain temperature which, if we put our hand in it, we experience cold (another mental property) and wetness (another mental property).

The labels themselves that we use "water" or "ice" are mental properties too. Information never exists directly in the physical world. Where information can be found from the physical world, the objects that provided the information will almost always involve other types of information at the same time. Our senses and our brains are tuned to get particular types of information and ignore others.

zuu
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:18 am

If
Information never exists directly in the physical world.
Why do you think there is any difference between physical and mental properties? We can take phenomenological reduction and talk about things as they appear for us - humans. Everything else is thing-in-itself - not accessible for us in principle. Of course some pre-categorization exist always, but then how can we skip solipsism? I'm too old for that

thought addict
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by thought addict » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:19 pm

zuu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:18 am
Information never exists directly in the physical world.
Why do you think there is any difference between physical and mental properties?
For the dualist, an obvious difference between the physical and mental is the distinction between the first person experience of qualia and an objective observation of the physics involved. An example is the quale of a vivid experience of the color red compared to the physics of light striking the retina and causing electrical and chemical signals to propogate through neurons.

I am personally inclined to believe that all properties are non-physical or at least meta-physical. What people call physical properties are information about the physical behavior of the physical substances (entities). They exist only as logical truth statements about physical behavior so they cannot have a direct physical existence. I am not sure property dualists would share my view. I suppose it depends on your accepted linguistic definition of the word "property".
zuu wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:18 am
We can take phenomenological reduction and talk about things as they appear for us - humans. Everything else is thing-in-itself - not accessible for us in principle. Of course some pre-categorization exist always, but then how can we skip solipsism? I'm too old for that
Why does pre-categorization imply solipsism?

zuu
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by zuu » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:29 pm

Solipsism is non-physical monism. For monism there are two options kind of "everything is". For physicalists everything is physical, for nonphysicalists everything is nonphysical (mental?).

osgart
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Re: What is the difference between property and entity?

Post by osgart » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:31 pm

Consciousness is all the properties of experience. Entity would be the one having the experience. Nothing in these conversations touches on entity, or soul; the fact that a person is more than the experience, and has heart, and will as well.

Scientists can learn all about the experience, and never admit to the entity having the experience. It is mostly ignored. Mind, awareness, qualia, correlates, mental states and nothing about the nature of hearts intentions; the entity.

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