thing(redirected from first thing)
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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.
REFERENCEUemov, A. I. Veshchi, svoistva, i otnosheniia. Moscow, 1963.
I. S. ALEKSEEV
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.