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Table of entity types

Table from “The reductionist blindspot.”

Naturally occurring

Human designed



Static. At an energy equilibrium; in an “energy well.”

Supervenience is useful.

Atoms, molecules, solar systems, …

Homeostatic mechanisms: lowest energy state.

Table (a raised surface), boat (floats), cloth (2D object from 1D thread), house (has rooms), car (can be driven), geo-synchronous satellite (fixed with respect to the earth as a reference frame), …

Homeostatic mechanisms: few; generally dependent on “maintenance” processes,

Dynamic. "Far from" an energy equilibrium. Must import energy (and usually other resources) to persist.

Supervenience is not useful.

Hurricanes(!), biological organisms, biological groups, …

Homeostatic mechanisms: specialized for individual cases.

Social groups such as governments, corporations, clubs, the ship of Theseus(!), …

Homeostatic mechanisms: specialized for individual cases, ranging from force to incentives.

Subsidized. Energy is not relevant since it is provided “for free” within a “laboratory” which has built-in support for entities.

Supervenience is not useful.

Ideas, concepts, “memes,” … The elements of a conceptual system. (This paper is not about consciousness. This category just fits here.)

Homeostatic mechanisms: We don’t understand how memory works.

The “first class” values—such as objects, classes, class instances, etc.—within a computational system.

Homeostatic mechanisms: generally not required since no natural degradation.