Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Features, philosophy: Features are fundamentally characteristics, however in the philosophical terminology according to Frege it has become natural to speak of (necessary) characteristics, but in objects of (contingent) properties. Objects do not have their properties necessarily, they can always be different. Concepts, on the other hand, have their characteristics necessarily. E.g. that circles are round is a necessary characteristic of the concept circle, but not a necessary property of drawn circles. It is, however, not the concept which has the characteristic itself, but the objects which fall under it.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Colin Allen on Features - Dictionary of Arguments

Colin Allen und Eric Saidel Die Evolution der Referenz in D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg.) Der Geist der Tiere, Frankfurt 2005

I 330
Feature/Property/Allen/Saidel: Question: when are the features of different species individual tokens of the same type of feature?
I 331
The upper limbs of birds, bats, and dragonflies, for example, are all considered as wings, because they have the same functional role: they make the animals capable of flying.
Homology/Homoplasia: On the other hand, the considerable anatomical differences of the wings are decisive.
Language: Problem: it can have many different functions. Here, we must define the identity of a feature.
Problem: the choice of the feature is dependent on the interests. Of course, people can do things with their language that animals cannot.
I 332
Likewise, e.g. hummingbirds can do things with their wings, which eagles cannot do with their wings. > Order,> identity,> difference.
They share a common feature despite the differences.
Language/Allen: one does not have to ask what it is, but what it does!

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Allen I
Colin Allen
Eric Saidel
"The Evilution of Reference", in: The Evolution of Mind, C. Allen and D. Dellarosa Cummins (Eds.) Oxford 1998, pp. 183-203
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-01-21
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