I understand the contradiction in my title and this post is exactly about that.
Considering the definitions of a noun by Oxford and by Cambridge, an idea is very possibly a thing. My question is whether anything is not a thing? I have seen the definitions of a thing at Oxford and other places but these are confusing to me.
My question is two-fold:
- Is 'thing' a word we use to describe anything that we can imagine and is possible? (Both by definition and in casual social settings)
- Is the fact that the word 'thing' is part of the words everything and anything make every possible concept a thing?
They are kind of the same question but I would appreciate a slightly different outlook to answer each. Thanks!
Note: To be clear, I am asking about the actual definitions of these words and the usage of the word 'thing'. Please read the tags.
Edit: So far, the closest I have got to answers are:
- Concepts that involve more than a singular unit of itself cannot seem to be called a thing. A thing can be a collection of things however (eg. keyboards are not a thing but are things. As are the keys that compose them. Individually, they are a thing though.)
- We usually call solid instances things but this is not a rule at all. (eg. the sun, a bottle of water, an empty ballon vs. a filled balloon, etc...)
- Scale seems to matter. Something we might call a thing from afar might not be a thing up close (eg. the sun, a city, a person, reflections, etc...)
- What's next?