Category Archives: universal

Sean M. Carroll

It seems natural to ask why the universe exists at all. Modern physics suggests that the universe can exist all by itself as a self-contained system, without anything external to create or sustain it. But there might not be an absolute answer to why it exists. I argue that any attempt to account for the existence of something rather than nothing must ultimately bottom out in a set of brute facts; the universe simply is, without ultimate cause or explanation.

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Pierre-Henri Tavoillot

L’idée d’universel est devenue suspecte ; nous autres contemporains avons appris à nous en méfier. Si elle fut jadis triomphante, l’histoire nous montre qu’elle servit de masque au colonialisme et à l’ethnocentrisme pour opprimer au nom de “la civilisation” les peuples “en marge du progrès”. Aujourd’hui plus modeste ou plus discrète, elle semble pourtant alimenter encore cette mondialisation que dénoncent ceux qui ne se résignent pas à l’homogénéisation et à l’uniformisation du monde. Face à elle, on est prêt à défendre bec et ongles les identités et les différences. Jusqu’à ce que l’on rencontre un autre motif – tout aussi puissant – de méfiance : le particularisme ; surtout lorsqu’il … Continue reading

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外部の脅威に直面したとき、内部の結束を固めることによってそれに対抗しようとする動きがでてくることは、どの人間集団にもみられる普遍的な反応であって、日本人に特有のものではない。「世界でもっとも個人主義的」といわれてきたアメリカ人も、外部の脅威に直面したとき、おなじように内部の結束を固めようとしてきたことは、史実が証明している。 軍国主義時代の日本人の集団主義的な行動は、誇張されたかたちで伝えられており、実態は、戦時下で欧米諸国の民衆がとった行動とかけ離れた異質のものではない。かりに集団主義の色彩がより強かったとしても、それは、日本が自国よりはるかに強大な国々からの脅威に長期間さらされつづけたという歴史的な状況から説明することができる。 軍国主義時代の日本人の行動は、「日本人=集団主義」説の信憑性を高めはしたが、じっさいにそれを証明しているわけではないのである。

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Vladimir V. Putin

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we … Continue reading

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>David K. Lewis

> Are there other worlds that are other ways? I say there are. I advocate a thesis of plurality of worlds, or modal realism, which holds that our world is but one world among many. There are countless other worlds, other very inclusive things. Our world consists of us and all our surroundings, however remote in time and space; just as it is one big thing having lesser things as parts, so likewise do other worlds have lesser otherworldly things as parts. The worlds are something like remote planets; except that most of them are much bigger than mere planets, and they are not remote. Neither are they nearby. They … Continue reading

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>Michael J. Loux

>The category of particulars includes what the nonphilosopher typically thinks of as “things” – familiar concrete objects like human beings, animals, plants, and inanimate material bodies; and the realist tells us that what is peculiar to particulars is that each occupies a single region of space at a given time. Universals, by contrast, are construed as repeatable entities. At any given time, numerically one and the same universal can be wholly and completely exhibited or, as realists typically put it, exemplified by several different spatially discontinuous particulars. Thus, different people can exemplify the same virtue at the same time; different automobiles can simultaneously exemplify the same shape; and different houses … Continue reading

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