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In modern philosophy, mathematics, and logic, a property is an attribute of an object; a red object is said to have the property of redness. The property may be considered a form of object in its own right, able to possess other properties. It differs from the logical concept of class by not having any concept of extensionality, and from the philosophical concept of class in that a property is considered to be distinct from the objects which possess it. Understanding how different individual entities can in some sense have some of the same properties is the basis of the problem of universals. The terms attribute and quality have similar meanings.

In classical Aristotelian terminology, a property is one of the predicables. It is a non-essential quality of a species , but a quality which is nevertheless characteristically present in members of that species . For example, "ability to laugh" may be considered a special characteristic of human beings. However, "laughter" is not an essential quality of the species human, whose Aristotelian definition of "rational animal" does not require laughter. Thus, in the classical framework, properties are characteristic, but non-essential, qualities.

A property may be classified as either determinate or determinable. A determinable property is one that can get more specific. For example, color is a determinable property because it can be restricted to redness, blueness, etc. A determinate property is one that cannot become more specific. This distinction may be useful in dealing with issues of identity.

Wikipedia, Straight, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_(philosophy) (as of Apr 7, 2011)

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