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By Hilary Lawson

Lawson offers a finished examine the heritage of western concept, the evolution of technological know-how 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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However, if every particular thing is potentially an unlimited number of other things, the defining character of thinghood would appear to have been lost, since nothing could be said to be uniquely anything in particular. Then again, not only can everyday material objects be described as alternative things, but it is equally the case that any material thing can be sub-divided into further things. While a cup is at the same time a container, it is also a handle and a bowl. However, if each material thing can be divided into further things, the thing is either something in addition to the combination of things of which it is constituted, or there must be elementary things of which all other things are constituted.

The paradox is made explicit when we consider whether the barber should shave himself or not, or whether the catalogue should name itself or not. In either case there is no possible solution. If the barber does not shave himself, he should do so for he shaves everyone in the town who does not shave himself; yet if he does shave himself he should not do so, since he only shaves those who do not shave themselves. A similar argument applies to the catalogue: if it includes itself it should not have done so, and if it does not include itself it should have done so.

If this is the case I would encourage readers to persevere to the later parts and chapters where the application of the framework to science, art, and society may clarify points that have been opaque and which at the same time will I believe provide convincing evidence for its adoption. xlviii Part I THE STRUCTURE OF CLOSURE Introduction: the making of reality and ourselves In the familiar everyday picture of the world, the world is divided into things: the sun and moon, the sea and sky, houses and people, tables and chairs.

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