Entity Concept – In philosophy, administration, law and more

We explain what an entity is, the origin of the term and its meaning in philosophy, administration and law. Also, various examples.

An entity can be any organization.

What is an entity?

In philosophy, it is common to use the term entity to refer to something that exists, that is, something that is. It can be called “entity” any object whose existence is verifiable, as well as “being”, both very broad and uncertain terms in Western philosophy, linked to the great transcendental questions of humanity, such as: what is to exist? What does it mean to be?

The word entity is a loan from the Latin ens, Participle of the verb essere (“To be”) and that also appears as entitas, that is, “quality of being”, that which is, that exists. Many thinkers used it to contrast it with the concept of essence, such as Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274), for whom the entity and its essence were two separate things.

However, the term entity is also used in common and everyday language, and even in areas related to administration and Law, to refer to legal persons, that is, to corporations, companies, institutions or collectivities that operate as an administrative unit, responding to the law as something individual.

In this sense, for example, it is common to speak of:

  • Financial entities, Bank entities or savings and loan entities, to refer to banks, brokerage houses and other similar organizations that are dedicated to money management and investments.
  • Administrative entities, federal entities or territorial entities, to refer to the provinces, districts or states in which a country or a city can be divided, and that have specific geographic and administrative borders.
  • Cultural entities, social entities or public interest entities, to refer to non-profit organizations, NGOs and other similar groups that pursue charitable, educational or similar purposes.

Finally, it is also possible to refer as “entity” to some creature or form of existence that we do not know too much about or that is a challenge to established knowledge.

For example, ghosts, ghosts, demons, and the like are referred to as supernatural entities, since they are not properly life forms (but they do exist, at least in the context of fiction). It is also possible to speak of an alien entity to refer to an extraterrestrial being.