Explanation of list reference

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Sat Feb 15 14:59:52 CET 2014

Marko Rauhamaa <marko at pacujo.net> writes:

> Anyway, an object is a fairly advanced and abstract concept.

It is a concept that, in natural language, has the huge advantage of
producing correct inferences most of the time.

You don't need to give a formal definition when first introducing the
term “object”. Just use it, and the student will produce inferences:

* an object is a distinct concrete entity

* an object is distinct from other objects

* an object may or may not change, but remains the same object

* an object belongs to a class of similar objects, and is different from
  objects of different classes

* an object has behaviours that are mostly the same as other objects of
  the same class

None of this needs to be spelled out when the term is introduced; all of
it will follow from the connotations of the term “object” in English.

> A beginning programmer wouldn't be equipped to understand the ultimate
> abstraction; an object is too all-encompassing to express anything.

Nevertheless, “object” as a term in normal English will produce a bunch
of helpful inferences, and avoid the need for coming up with some
less-familiar term. It will also allow you to postpone a formal
definition until later.

 \       “Try to learn something about everything and everything about |
  `\                                  something.” —Thomas Henry Huxley |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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