Universals

Edited by Gabriele Contessa (Carleton University)
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  1. Qualia and the problem of universals.Mark Sharlow - 2007
    In this paper I explore the logical relationship between the question of the reality of qualia and the problem of universals. I argue that nominalism is inconsistent with the existence of qualia, and that realism either implies or makes plausible the existence of qualia. Thus, one's position on the existence of qualia is strongly constrained by one's answer to the problem of universals.
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  2. Recognizing intentions in infant-directed speech: Evidence for universals.H. Clark Barrett With Bryant & A. G. - manuscript
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  3. Some Questions About the Exemplification Tie Between Universals and Particulars.Jeff Grupp - unknown - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 21.
    A connection between things and properties is required to hold things and properties together. Exemplification is such a connection. Exemplification is usually considered primitive, and therefore analysis of exemplification is nearly absent from the literature. I maintain that exemplification might not be primitive; and in giving a description of exemplification, I point out a new problem having to do with the issue of how things are tied to properties.
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  4. Mathematical structures, universals, and singular terms.Bahram Assadian - forthcoming - In B. Assadian N. Kürbis (ed.), Knowledge, Number, and Reality; Encounters with the Work of Keith Hossack. London, UK: pp. 203-216.
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  5. Predicazione, anafora e proprietà.Francesco F. Calemi - forthcoming - Paradigmi.
    Many realists and nominalists, guided by a specific interpretation of the nature of the debate concerning the existence of properties, agree in holding that predicative sentences of the form «a is F» – whereas the schematic letters «a» and «F» stand for, respectively, a name of a particular and a general term –, taken by themselves alone, don’t commit us to the existence of properties. In this paper I’ll take into account the main versions of realism and nominalism that assume (...)
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  6. Immanence in Abundance.Chad Carmichael - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    In this paper, I develop a theory on which each of a thing’s abundant properties is immanent in that thing. On the version of the theory I will propose, universals are abundant, each instantiated universal is immanent, and each uninstantiated universal is such that it could have been instantiated, in which case it would have been immanent. After setting out the theory, I will defend it from David Lewis’s argument that such a combination of immanence and abundance is absurd. I (...)
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  7. Musical Works as Structural Universals.A. R. J. Fisher - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    In the ontology of music the Aristotelian theory of musical works is the view that musical works are immanent universals. The Aristotelian theory is an attractive and serviceable hypothesis. However, it is overlooked as a genuine competitor to the more well-known theories of Musical Platonism and nominalism. Worse still, there is no detailed account in the literature of the nature of the universals that the Aristotelian identifies musical works with. In this paper, I argue that the best version of Musical (...)
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  8. Nominalist Relationalism about Ontological Categories and Forms.Jani Hakkarainen - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), Categorial Ontologies. Routledge.
    In this paper, I first argue for a relational account of the concept of ontological form and its difference from being. The former is explicated by the concepts of character-neutral internal relation and existence or being and that the ontological forms of entities consist in these formal ontological relations in which the entities stand. Secondly, I apply this account to ontological categories and their membership-determination, existence and reality. Here I also defend a relational view that categories are construed as pluralities (...)
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  9. Metaphysics of States of Affairs: Truthmaking, Universals, and a Farewell to Bradley’s Regress, by Bo R. Meinertsen, Singapore: Springer, 2018. 174 + xviii pp. [REVIEW]Landon Hobbs - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-6.
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  10. Update rules and semantic universals.Luca Incurvati & Giorgio Sbardolini - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-31.
    We discuss a well-known puzzle about the lexicalization of logical operators in natural language, in particular connectives and quantifiers. Of the many logically possible operators, only few appear in the lexicon of natural languages: the connectives in English, for example, are conjunction _and_, disjunction _or_, and negated disjunction _nor_; the lexical quantifiers are _all, some_ and _no_. The logically possible nand (negated conjunction) and Nall (negated universal) are not expressed by lexical entries in English, nor in any natural language. Moreover, (...)
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  11. Classifications.Ludger Jansen - forthcoming - Applied Ontology: An Introduction.
    It has long been a standard practice for the natural sciences to classify things. Thus, it is no wonder that, for two and a half millennia, philosophers have been reflecting on classifications, from Plato and Aristotle to contemporary philosophy of science. Some of the results of these reflections will be presented in this chapter. I will start by discussing a parody of a classification, namely: the purportedly ancient Chinese classification of animals described by Jorge Luis Borges. I will show that (...)
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  12. Gersonides and Spinoza on God’s Knowledge of Universals and Particulars.Yitzhak Melamed - forthcoming - In Gad Freudenthal, David Wirmer & Ofer Elior (eds.), Gersonides Through the Ages.
  13. Bill, Bowl, and Ball. A Tale of Disjunctive Properties.Michele Paolini Paoletti - forthcoming - Studium Philosophicum.
    The existence of disjunctive properties has been put in question by many philosophers. In this article, I shall offer an argument for the existence of such properties. I shall show that they are required in order to ground certain objective and unique resemblances between things. In Section 1, I develop the argument by presenting a toy example involving three entities: a red fish (Bill), a glass and round fish bowl (Bowl), and a red ball (Ball). In Section 2, I deal (...)
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  14. A dilemma about kinds and kind terms.T. Parent - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (Suppl 12):2987-3006.
    'The kind Lion' denotes a kind. Yet many generics are thought to denote kinds also, like the subject-terms in 'The lion has a mane', 'Dinosaurs are extinct', and 'The potato was cultivated in Ireland by the end of the 17th century.' This view may be adequate for the linguist's overall purposes--however, if we limit our attention to the theory of reference, it seems unworkable. The problem is that what is often predicated of kinds is not what is predicated of the (...)
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  15. Properties and a Grounding Principle.Noel Saenz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I advance a lesser known counterfactual principle of grounding in a new kind of way by appealing to properties and the work they do. I then show that this new way of arguing for this principle is superior to another way, describe some of the work this principle can do, defend my use of this principle, and conclude with remarks on why principles like it are needed.
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  16. Possibility Precedes Actuality.Tuomas E. Tahko - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper is inspired by and develops on E. J. Lowe’s work, who writes in his book The Possibility of Metaphysics that ‘metaphysical possibility is an inescapable determinant of actuality’ (1998: 9). Metaphysics deals with possibilities – metaphysical possibilities – but is not able to determine what is actual without the help of empirical research. Accordingly, a delimitation of the space of possibilities is required. The resulting – controversial – picture is that we generally need to know whether something is (...)
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  17. Naturalness: Abundant and Sparse Properties.Elanor Taylor - forthcoming - In Anna-Sofia Maurin & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Properties.
    Commitment to sparseness amounts to the idea that there is an objective, worldly privileging of certain properties over others that makes the privileged properties suited to play certain roles, and is responsible for their playing such roles. In this chapter I offer a brief, opinionated overview of sparseness. I begin by examining a set of problems that I call “problems of abundance”, which generate canonical motivations for sparseness. I then survey some influential approaches to sparseness and the roles that they (...)
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  18. Naturalness: Abundant and Sparse Properties.Elanor Taylor - forthcoming - In Anna-Sofia Maurin & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Properties.
    Commitment to sparseness amounts to the idea that there is an objective, worldly privileging of certain properties over others that makes the privileged properties suited to play certain roles, and is responsible for their playing such roles. In this chapter I offer a brief, opinionated overview of sparseness. I begin by examining a set of problems that I call “problems of abundance”, which generate canonical motivations for sparseness. I then survey some influential approaches to sparseness and the roles that they (...)
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  19. Does everything resemble everything else to the same degree?Ben Blumson - 2022 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1-21.
    According to Satosi Watanabe's "theorem of the ugly duckling", the number of predicates satisfied by any two different particulars is a constant, which does not depend on the choice of the two particulars. If the number of predicates satisfied by two particulars is their number of properties in common, and the degree of resemblance between two particulars is a function of their number of properties in common, then it follows that the degree of resemblance between any two different particulars is (...)
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  20. Are Generics Defaults? A Study on the Interpretation of Generics and Universals in 3 Age- Groups of Spanish-Speaking Individuals.Elena Castroviejo, José V. Hernández-Conde, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Marta Ponciano & Agustin Vicente - 2022 - Language Learning and Development 10.
    This paper reports an experiment that investigates interpretive distinctions between two different expressions of generalization in Spanish. In particular, our aim was to find out when the distinction between generic statements (GS) such as Tigers have stripes and universally quantified statements (UQS) such as All tigers have stripes was acquired in Spanish-speaking children of two different age groups (4/5-year-olds and 8/9-year-olds), and then compare these results with those of adults. The starting point of this research was the semantic distinction between (...)
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  21. Unmanifested powers and universals.Ashley Coates - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    According to a well-known argument against dispositional essentialism, the nature of unmanifested token powers leaves dispositional essentialists with an objectionable commitment to the reality of non-existent entities. The idea is that, because unmanifested token powers are directed at their non-existent token manifestations, they require the reality of those manifestations. Arguably the most promising response to this argument works by claiming that, if properties are universals, dispositional directedness need only entail the reality of actually existing manifestation types. I argue that this (...)
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  22. The Multi-location Trilemma.Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1063-1079.
    The possibility of multi-location—of one entity having more than one exact location—is required by several metaphysical theories such as the immanentist theory of universals and three-dimensionalism about persistence. One of the most pressing challenges for multi-location theorists is that of making sense of exact location—in that extant definitions of exact location entail a principle called ‘functionality’, according to which nothing can have more than one exact location. Recently in a number of promising papers, Antony Eagle has proposed and defended a (...)
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  23. Whole multiple location and universals.Daniel Giberman - 2022 - Analytic Philosophy 63 (4):245-258.
    According to the broadly Aristotelian distinction between universals and particulars, all and only the former are capable of whole multiple location. The present essay defends this distinction against four putative counterexamples. The first two, extended simple material objects and enduring time-traveling self-meeters, putatively are wholly multiply locatable, but not universals. The second two, unique properties of point-sized entities and Platonic (i.e., not spatiotemporally located) universals, putatively are universals, but not wholly multiply locatable. The defensive strategy is to resist certain presuppositions (...)
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  24. In defense of Aristotelian universals.Alessandro Giordani & Eric Tremolanti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-18.
    To be an Aristotelian about universals is to hold that universals depend for their existence on their exemplifiers. An argument against Aristotelianism about universals has recently been put forward by Costa to the effect that a contradiction follows from assuming a certain formulation of Aristotelianism together with some highly plausible principles governing the notions employed in that formulation. In this paper, we provide different ways of articulating the Aristotelian position which, while being related with some of the main contributions in (...)
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  25. The Fundamentality and Non-Fundamentality of Ontological Categories.Jani Hakkarainen - 2022 - In Miroslaw Szatkowski (ed.), E.J. Lowe and Ontology. Routledge. pp. 123–142.
    In this paper, I propose a solution to an almost ignored problem in metaphysics and metametaphysics: what is categorial fundamentality and non-fundamentality? My proposal builds on E. J. Lowe’s view on the issue. By means of the newcomer notion of generic identity, I can give an account of something that Lowe did not explicate: the constitution of formal ontolog- ical relations. Formal ontological relations (e.g. instantiation) are internal relations that deter- mine ontological form and category-membership. I argue that categorial fundamentality (...)
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  26. Quiddities and repeatables: towards a tripartite analysis of simple predicative statements.Boris Hennig - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-12.
    I argue that a tripartite analysis of simple statements such as “Bucephalus is a horse”, according to which they divide into two terms and a copula, requires the notion of a repeatable: something such that more than one particular can literally be it. I pose a familiar dilemma with respect to repeatables, and turn to Avicenna for a solution, who discusses a similar dilemma concerning quiddities. I conclude by describing how Avicenna’s quiddities relate to repeatables, and how both quiddities and (...)
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  27. Safety first: making property talk safe for nominalists.Jack Himelright - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-26.
    Nominalists are confronted with a grave difficulty: if abstract objects do not exist, what explains the success of theories that invoke them? In this paper, I make headway on this problem. I develop a formal language in which certain platonistic claims about properties and certain nominalistic claims can be expressed, develop a formal language in which only certain nominalistic claims can be expressed, describe a function mapping sentences of the first language to sentences of the second language, and prove some (...)
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  28. An Account of Suhrawardī’s Allegories in Light of the Illuminationist Philosophy.Mahdi Homazadeh - 2022 - International Journal of Platonic Tradition 16:1-20.
    In this paper, I seek to explain Suhrawardī’s method of writing his allegories – how he draws upon his philosophical principles to construct forms and plots of his stories. To do so, I begin by delineating two key doctrines of his Illuminationist (Ishrāqī) ontology: the world of Forms (‘ālam al-muthul) and the discontinuous imaginal world (‘ālam al-mithāl al-munfaṣil). I provide an account of the history of these two doctrines and the nature of these two worlds, and then consider some of (...)
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  29. What Is the Problem of Universals About?Guido Imaguire - 2022 - Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (1):71-89.
    The Problem of Universals is one of the oldest problems of metaphysics. And still, there is no agreement, neither about its nor about its. What is the most adequate formulation of the problem? And what kind of explanation does it require? My aim in this paper is to offer an overview of these two basic questions in the contemporary debate. I will present the four most important formulations (section 1), discuss their connections (section 2) and how the three most prominent (...)
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  30. The Problem of Universals from the Scientific Point of View: Thomas Aquinas Should Be More Appreciated.Shiro Ishikawa - 2022 - Open Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):86-104.
    Recently we proposed the linguistic Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is called quantum language or measurement theory. This theory is valid for both quantum and classical systems. Thus, we think that quantum language is one of the most powerful scientific theories, like statistics, and thus, it is the scientific completion (i.e., the destination) of dualistic idealism. If so, we can introduce the concept “progress” in the dualistic idealism. For example, we can assert that [Plato → Descartes → Kant → (...)
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  31. Seppo Albert Kivinen universaalien identiteetti- ja eksistenssiehdoista.Markku Keinänen - 2022 - Ajatus 79: 53-71.
    This article (in Finnish) discusses Seppo Albert Kivinen's (1933-2021) views on identity and existence conditions of universals. Moreover, the article puts the views to larger context.
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  32. Generality.Nils Kürbis - 2022 - In Nils Kürbis, Jonathan Nassim & Bahram Assadian (eds.), Knowledge, Number and Reality. Encounters with the Work of Keith Hossack. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 161-176.
    Hossack's 'The Metaphysics of Knowledge' develops a theory of facts, entities in which universals are combined with universals or particulars, as the foundation of his metaphysics. While Hossack argues at length that there must be negative facts, facts in which the universal 'negation' is combined with universals or particulars, his conclusion that there are also general facts, facts in which the universal 'generality' is combined with universals, is reached rather more swiftly. In this paper I present Hossack with three arguments (...)
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  33. A Brighter Shade of Categoricalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (6):1213-1242.
    Categoricalism is a doctrine about properties according to which the dispositional aspects of properties are not essential to them. In opposition to categoricalism, dispositionalism holds that the dispositional aspects of properties are essential to them. In this article, I shall construct a new version of categoricalism that should be favoured over the other existing versions: Semi-Necessitarian Categoricalism. In Section 2 I shall elaborate on the distinction between categoricalism and dispositionalism and single out different ‘shades’ of both doctrines. I shall also (...)
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  34. Stephen of Páleč’s works on universals, with a critical edition of his question Utrum universale sit aliquid extra animam preter operacionem intellectus.Ota Pavlíček - 2022 - Archives d'Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge 1:287-336.
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  35. Ontology Generator.Alik Pelman - 2022 - Metaphysica:1-20.
    The paper proposes a simple method for constructing ontological theories—an ‘ontology generator’. It shows that such a generator manages to produce major existing ontological theories, e.g., Realism, Nominalism, Trope theory, Bundle theory, Perdurantism, Endurantism, Possibilism, Actualism and more. It thus turns out, surprisingly, that all these seemingly unrelated different ontological theories that were designed by thinkers hundreds of years apart, can all be generated using the same simple mechanism. Moreover, this same generator manages to produce entirely novel ontological theories, that (...)
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  36. A Problem for Immanent Universals in States of Affairs.Michael J. Raven - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):1-9.
    This paper raises a problem for the pair of views that universals are immanent in their instantiations and that these instantiations, or states of affairs, are somehow constructed from the instantiated universals. It is argued that the pair is inconsistent. The first view implies that universals are prior to states of affairs, whereas the second view implies that states of affairs are prior to universals. This paper does not attempt to solve this problem, but rather to formulate it precisely. That (...)
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  37. Before Kant: Universals in German Enlightenment.Marco Sgarbi - 2022 - Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (1):49-69.
    The paper deals with the problems of universals in German Enlightenment before Kant. The first part reconstructs the sources of the problem of universals, focusing in particular on Leibniz and Locke. The second part examines the early eclectic positions of Brucker, Baumgarten, Hollmann and Crusius. In the fourth part the essay investigates the relation between universals and the various combinatorial projects like those of Ploucquet and Lambert.
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  38. The Magical Santayanan Groundwork for Metaphysical Coherentism.Forrest Adam Sopuck - 2022 - The Pluralist 17 (2):107-140.
    There is a tension in Santayana's ontological system, one that is generated by the interactions of his doctrine of existence, doctrine of systematization, and critical agnosticism on the infinity of material substance. From and, in conjunction with what will be called the expansionist postulate, an infinite material expansion is generated, one that is in conflict with. This tension is remediated by a coherentist proposal regarding Santayanan existence, the relevant feature of which is that existents at distinct orders of organization are (...)
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  39. Natural Kinds, Mind-independence, and Unification Principles.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    There have been many attempts to determine what makes a natural kind real, chief among them is the criterion according to which natural kinds must be mind-independent. But it is difficult to specify this criterion: many supposed natural kinds have an element of mind-dependence. I will argue that the mind-independence criterion is nevertheless a good one, if correctly understood: the mind-independence criterion concerns the unification principles for natural kinds. Unification principles determine how natural kinds unify their properties, and only those (...)
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  40. A reductive analysis of statements about universals.Ben White - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    This paper proposes an analysis of statements about universals according to which such statements assert nothing more than that the evidence we’d take to confirm them obtains, where this evidence is understood to consist solely of patterns in the behavior of particulars that cannot be explained by other regularities in the way things behave. On this analysis, to say that a universal exists is simply to say that there is such a pattern in the behavior of certain particulars, and for (...)
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  41. Rethinking Einstein’s ‘Theory’.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    E=mc2: What did he miss? Rethinking Einstein as a circular theory. Producing philosophical, physical, and psychological fusion.
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  42. Memetics.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    Meme means ‘copy.’ Bio means ‘two.’ Biomemetics is (the study of) (the belief that) the tokenization of reality is a (continual) (and perpetual) copy of the number ‘two.’ Explaining, fundamentality, universals, abstraction, representation, tokenization, the 'self' in any discipline. Identity, Complementarity, Reality.
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  43. The Singularity.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Intelligent Design Center.
    The 'singularity' in Nature is a concrete-abstraction (think: tokenization) of the circular-linear relationship between 'me' and 'you.' Also, known as, 'me' and 'me' ('you' and 'you'). (Any and every 'me.') (Any and every 'you'.) Explaining the ontology, and, thus, the epistemology, of technology and finance (physics and psychology) (biology and philosophy). The abstract 'object.' The notion of 'self.' Any NFT (non-fungible and-or fungible token). The 'genetics of information.' The 'tokenized' state.
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  44. General Relativity.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Intelligent Design Center.
    Space joins (and separates) any X and-or Y. X and-or Y is, necessarily, 0 and-or 1. 0 and-or 1 is, necessarily, circumference and-or diameter. Explaining (what humans think of as) gravity (general relativity) (the 'self' in all systems). Thereby, and, therein, explaining the relationship between mind and matter. Integrating philosophy and physics (abstract and concrete reality) (where you need both in order to have either). Thereby, and, therein, explaining everything in psychology (a completely tokenized ‘reality’). You can think of this (...)
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  45. Thinking About Thought.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    A thought is not possible without the conservation of a circle. Thus, the representation of a thought is, also, not possible without (the conservation of) a circle.
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  46. Mereology and The 'Singularity'.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    There is a conserved circular-linear relationship between an individual and a group (a part and a whole) (half and whole) (whole and half). Explaining mereology and producing the 'singularity' (a universal theory of everything, all disciplines) (which may be impossible for humans to accept).
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  47. Why Astrology Works. And Why It Doesn't.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Why quantum physics works. (Why quantum philosophy works.) And why it doesn’t. It’s all about fusion guitar. You could call it 'philosophical (and physical) fusion.' .
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  48. Circularity.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  49. Object-Oriented 'Reality'.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
  50. The 'Two Universes' Theory.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    The human lives in two universes. One inside. The other outside. One completely abstract. The other concrete. Telling all of us something important about Nature and ‘reality.’.
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1 — 50 / 935