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thing

1
Law any object or right that may be the subject of property (as distinguished from a person)

thing

2
a law court or public assembly in the Scandinavian countries
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Thing

 

separate object of material reality, possessing relative independence and stability of existence.

A thing is a definite entity because of its structural, functional, qualitative, and quantitative characteristics. The properties of a thing are the most general expression of its particular characteristics, and the place and role of a given thing in a definite system are expressed through its relations with other things. The category of thing was especially widely used in philosophy until the 19th century; moreover, the principal attribute of things was considered to be their corporeality. Instead of the category of thing, contemporary philosophy usually uses the categories of object and physical entity. However, in the analysis of socioeconomic problems the term thing (and its derivatives such as “thingness”) has retained its independent meaning for designating the process of acquiring thinglike qualities (reification), when the relations between people take on a perverse form and look like the relations between things. This occurs, for example, under the conditions of the universal development of commodity relations in a capitalist society. The concept of thing is also used in logic.

REFERENCE

Uemov, A. I. Veshchi, svoistva, i otnosheniia. Moscow, 1963.

I. S. ALEKSEEV


Thing

 

a popular assembly in medieval Scandinavia. In the early medieval period, the thing was an important social and cultural meeting place of the bonders. Gradually the thing changed from an assembly of all the bonders into an assembly of their representatives, who were elected by the population or were appointed by the clergy or royal deputies. As royal power was strengthened, the all-things (common things uniting several localities) were brought under state control, but the local things retained a degree of autonomy. The term thing is retained in the names of several of the Scandinavian parliaments—the Danish Folketing, the Icelandic Althing, and the Norwegian Storting.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Critics, he says, jump at certain groundless conclusions; they pass adverse judgment and then proceed to reason on it; and, assuming that the poet has said whatever they happen to think, find fault if a thing is inconsistent with their own fancy.
With respect to the requirements of art, a probable impossibility is to be preferred toga thing improbable and yet possible.
Sometimes I rise above my level, sometimes I fall below it; but always I fall short of the things I dream.
Thus it was that in obedience to the law laid down by his mother, and in obedience to the law of that unknown and nameless thing, fear, he kept away from the mouth of the cave.
For an hour the procession of grotesques passed before the eyes of the old man, and then, although it was a painful thing to do, he crept out of bed and began to write.
An attempt and a risk seemed all commanding unto me; and whenever it commandeth, the living thing risketh itself thereby.
(1) By inference from things within my biography, or
For if 'great' is the contrary of 'small', and the same thing is both great and small at the same time, then 'small' or 'great' is the contrary of itself.
Now let me ask you another question: Which is the art of painting designed to be--an imitation of things as they are, or as they appear-- of appearance or of reality?
I got on board the ship as before, and prepared a second raft; and, having had experience of the first, I neither made this so unwieldy, nor loaded it so hard, but yet I brought away several things very useful to me; as first, in the carpenters stores I found two or three bags full of nails and spikes, a great screw- jack, a dozen or two of hatchets, and, above all, that most useful thing called a grindstone.
See, here are my two reals," and he bade Sancho give them to Master Pedro; but he answered for the ape and said, "Senor, this animal does not give any answer or information touching things that are to come; of things past he knows something, and more or less of things present."
"The first thing required for the machine," said he, "is a body big enough to carry the entire party.