Implicit Concepts and Units in Metaphysics & Epistemology Posted 26 Dec 2013 · Report post Those are helpful comments, thanks. And I like the analogy between "potential man" and "implicit concept." That's good.I want to return to my second question and try to answer it. Feel free to interject if you disagree.Question 2: AR writes, "The ability to regard entities as units is man's distinctive method of cognition, which other living species are unable to follow." (page 6) - What exactly does it mean to "regard entities as units"?AR says, "units are things viewed by a consciousness in certain existing relationships" (page 7). When I observe that three tables are alike in some way and different from the things around them, I believe that I am regarding these entities as "types" (or units) of what I may later learn to call a table. When I refer to a chair as a "chair", I am regarding that entitiy as a unit (or member) of the group of things called chairs. These would be examples of what she means.Is there a difference between "regarding entities as units" and observing similarity[?] I'm guessing animals can do the latter but not the former.I can think of at least one difference between regarding entities as units and observing similarity. I can observe that there's something similar between a skyscraper and a ruler. Their shape is similar. But that doesn't necessarily mean I am abstracting away something in common from the two and regarding them as units of some concept. I can observe that purple and blue are similar when compared to red, even though I am not regarding the two as units. It does seem that in these two examples it could be possible to go an extra step and form a concept from these observed similarities. A word for long-skinny-rectangle could be abstracted, if it were deemed useful to do so. And a word for colors within the blue-purple spectrum could be coined if so desired. Would it be accurate to say that "observing similarity" is a first step in the process of concept formation, and it's as far as animals can go?One other question comes to mind: Can entities be regarded as units (of some concept) before the process of concept formation has been completed? I can recall instances where I regarded different entities as alike only to later find out that there was a word for that thing. And I can imagine that if a child plays with a tablet computer a couple times, and that child identifies the next tablet computer he encounters as similar, he is regarding these entities as units, even if he doesn't have a name for these things yet. For this reason, it seems that we can regard entities as units before conceptualization is finished.