- 5 Jan 2016
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This is an existential issue that may be beyond your understanding, but things cannot have purpose unless purpose is bestowed on them by a self-aware intelligence, i.e. humans.So the Sun does not give off heat and light because of the energy released within it from the fusion of hydrogen into helium?
The sun was doing what it does long before humans arrived to start calling things 'hydrogen' or 'light' or 'electrons'. Hydrogen and light are purely human decriptions of natural phenomena that we cannot truly interact with. They are fictional models that we conjure to explain 'why' things happen, because that's the way our monkey brains (and the English language) have evolved to describe our world. But ultimately there is no 'why', no purpose, to anything natural, only to things we designed ourselves for our own purposes. If we claim the sun gives of light because of burning hydrogen, we are imposing a sense of design on the sun and a sense of purpose to the hydrogen. This is monkey brain thinking, which is fine for monkey-to-monkey conversations. An alien race might come up with different physical models of the world using an entirely different form of mathematics that we cannot even comprehend, but which works fine for the aliens, and both would be equally right, and both equally irrelevent to the sun who does not care what you call stuff.
Getting back to the point, an 'electronic component' is a descriptor invented by humans to describe things designed by humans to exploit an intangible natrual phenomenon that we happen to call 'electrons'.* Because we designed them with this exact purpose in mind, we can say they work because of electrons. By natural things do not work 'because of' electrons; they will contue to do what they do long after we have gone extinct and there is no one around to conceive the fictional model of what an electron might be. That is why a capacitor is an electronic component, and a human body is not; a human is not a device constructed by the principles of electronics.
*It is likely that in the future we will develop a new physical model that abandons the concept of electrons and quantum particles altogether!