When Relation ( latin relatio , returning Carrying ' ) relationship , in general, a relationship between a beings or event to one or more other is referred to. "In detail there are one-way and reciprocal relationships."
The concept of relation is closely related to the concepts of structure and system . In systems theory , the structure of a system is understood to be the set of all relationships between the individual elements of the system.
With the term relation one has to distinguish between constructed relations (relatio rationis) and real relations (relatio in natura) . Real relationships are when objects actually relate to each other in some way. Constructed (imaginary) relationships are used when objects are related, for example with regard to their size, position, duration of existence or other data.
Classification of relations
Relations are usually classified according to the characteristics of reflexivity , symmetry (also antisymmetry and asymmetry ) and transitivity . For scientific research, it is also important to distinguish between particular or complete, punctual, one or multidimensional, and locally determined or indefinite relations.
The distinction between external and internal relations is of particular importance : one speaks of internal relations when all objects that are related to one another are defined in the same reference system and a change in the reference system does not change the relation between the objects. Inner relations are therefore invariant to transformations of the reference system.
- Walter Brugger: Philosophical Dictionary. 16th edition. Herder Verlag, Freiburg / Basel / Vienna 1981, page 48 f.