Things: Objects and Processes
Immanuel Kant said that “Objects are our way of knowing.” While this is obviously true, it is not the whole truth, but only about half of it. Objects are our way of knowing what exists, or in other words, the of systems. To know what happens, to understand systems’ behavior, a second, complementary type of things is needed—processes. We know of the existence of an object if we can name it and refer to its unconditional, relatively stable existence, but without processes we cannot tell how this object is transformed—how it is created, how its states change over time, and how it disappears. These two fundamental concepts—objects and processes, generalized as things—are the focus of this chapter.
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