Here's a picture of me with my humans. They were being silly, so I was trying to look dignified:
Suppose you asked me how many things there are in this photo. I would woof at you and give you one of my stares, because that would be a silly question. How many whats? There are two humans, three mammals, one pair of glasses, two hats, one dog, and thousands of gorgeous black and white hairs. Sadly there are no sticks (the number of sticks is zero). A thing is something you can count, and every thing is some sort of thing (dog, human etc.).
If I told you all the things there were in the universe would I have told you about everything that exists? Are things all there is? The human philosopher Quine seems to have thought so. And I agreed with him until the other day.
One of my humans was letting me outside for my morning wee, when a strange sight greeted my eyes:
The human told me that this white stuff was snow. I barked at it and then I ate some. Snow is not a thing. I cannot count snow (I can count snowflakes whilst they're falling, but that's different). If you say "there's some snow outside", and I barked "how many?" it wouldn't make sense. But if you told me that there were some squirrels outside, I could bark "how many?" (although I wouldn't do that, I'd run out and try to catch the squirrels). Squirrels are things, snow is a stuff. Stuffs are blobby and can't be counted - like snow, water, and oil. My favourite stuff is Horlicks, which I like as my bedtime drink.
Mental walkies with Lola,