Sortal is a concept that has been used by some philosophers in discussing issues of identity, persistence, and change. The simplest property of a sortal is that it can be counted, i.e., can take numbers as modifiers. For example, "pea" is a sortal in the sentence "I want two peas", whereas "water" is not a sortal in the sentence "I want water". Countability is not the only criterion.

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  • Sortal is a concept that has been used by some philosophers in discussing issues of identity, persistence, and change. The simplest property of a sortal is that it can be counted, i.e., can take numbers as modifiers. For example, "pea" is a sortal in the sentence "I want two peas", whereas "water" is not a sortal in the sentence "I want water". Countability is not the only criterion. Thus "red thing" in the sentence "There are two red things on the shelf" is not treated as a sortal by some philosophers who use the term. There is disagreement about the exact definition of the term as well as whether it is applied to linguistic things (such as predicates or words), abstract entities (such as properties), or psychological entities (such as concepts). (en)
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  • Sortal is a concept that has been used by some philosophers in discussing issues of identity, persistence, and change. The simplest property of a sortal is that it can be counted, i.e., can take numbers as modifiers. For example, "pea" is a sortal in the sentence "I want two peas", whereas "water" is not a sortal in the sentence "I want water". Countability is not the only criterion. (en)
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  • Sortal (en)
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