Paolo Giorgini is visiting us at UTS. I spent some time talking to him today and he explained his views on the difference between objects and agents, or OOSE and AOSE.
The main differences are two. The first one concerns delegation. You delegate goals to agents. Agents then find their way to achieve those goals. The second difference is related to the communication style. With objects, you tell them what to do each time you invoke a method. With agents, you let them know about things.
Simple as this is, it is the best explanation that I’ve ever heard or read so far. Don’t worry about autonomy, situatedness or intelligence. Just delegation and communication style.