Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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

Perler 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!

Tie I
D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg)
Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-05-25