What is an [object]?

Let us attack this question by asking, first, what is an explanation of an [object]; what does the explanation of an [object] look like?

The way this question helps us is analogous to the way the question “how do we measure length?” helps us to understand the problem “what is length?”

The questions “what is length?”, “what is meaning?”. “what is the number one?” etc., produce in us a mental cramp. We feel that we can’t point to anything in reply to them and yet ought to point to something. (We are up against one of the great sources of philosophical bewilderment : a substantive makes us look for a thing that corresponds to it.)

If, for instance, you were ordered to paint a particular shade of blue called “Prussian Blue”. you might have to use a table to lead you from the word “Prussian Blue” to a sample of the colour, which would serve you as your copy.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein, The Blue Book,


Ed Ruscha, OOF, 1962-3, Oil on canvas, 181.5 x 170.2 cm
MoMA Object number


In computer science, an object can be a variable, a data structure, a function, or a method, and as such, is a value in memory referenced by an identifier.

In the class-based object-oriented programming paradigm, object refers to a particular instance of a class, where the object can be a combination of variables, functions, and data structures.

In relational database management, an object can be a table or column, or an association between data and a database entity (such as relating a person’s age to a specific person) — Wikipedia

A value in memory referenced by an identifier…?

© Lee Booth, OOP (after Ruscha), 2018, digital artwork, 170.2 x 181.5cm

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