Download e-book for iPad: A Story of Everything by Hilary Lawson

By Hilary Lawson

ISBN-10: 0203995791

ISBN-13: 9780203995792

ISBN-10: 0415011388

ISBN-13: 9780415011389

ISBN-10: 0415136504

ISBN-13: 9780415136501

Lawson offers a finished examine the heritage of western proposal, the evolution of technology and its makes an attempt to supply us with a ''theory of everything'' and an assessment of the relativist a number of truths.

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Sample text

It is not simply that we could have named these things differently, or have made different distinctions, but that the possibility of dividing the world into things at all is itself the outcome of a process of which language is a part. The world is not either divided into things or the result of the combination of things, nor is itself a thing. I want, at this stage, to put forward two preliminary reasons for adopting this seemingly unlikely starting point. The first of these is that such a stance might provide an explanation of the prevalence of the paradoxes of selfreference; and the second, that since we can give no credible account of the nature of a thing it is unhelpful to consider the world and its contents as consisting of things.

It can be argued therefore that the thing, the particular, is identified only as the solution to an abstract variable, x. Within such an account what appears as the name of a particular is instead understood as a function of x with a particular as its solution. The Quinean doctrine ‘to be is to be the value of a variable’34 can be understood in this light; a conclusion made possible by the original Fregean symbolism that introduced quantification and founded modern logic. As the result of such arguments the proliferation of things would appear to be contained.

The first reason for holding the world as not-thing is that the ubiquity of the paradoxes of self-reference can be seen not as some strange and inexplicable accident but the outcome of a mistake. If we hold the world as not-thing, it is to be expected that language cannot uncover the true nature of the world, for language provides a description of things. The method of rational empiricism that has underpinned Western culture, and on which science is based, seeks to ascertain whether its descriptions of the world – its theories – are accurate, by placing them up against reality – by testing them.

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A Story of Everything by Hilary Lawson


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