Universals and Particulars
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Thread: Universals and Particulars

  1. #1
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    Universals and Particulars

    I posted this originally to the psychodelic thread... I wanted to give it its own place:

    In neo platonic duelistic thought they divide knowledge into two groups,universal and particulars.

    Particular knowledge is anything than can be expressed with logic or even sensed(sight,sound ,smell,etc,etc)
    Universal knowledge on the other hand cannot be expressed thru logic or attained with the senses. It must come thru "revelation"

    In the "beat-nic" era absract art was very popular. The reason was that some poeple believed that abstract art could communicate "universal" concepts. Thats what was meant when an art lover could "see" the picture. The viewer was somehow liberated from the limits of "particular" thought and could than grasp "universal" concepts.

    Tripping on acid or mushrooms also eliminated the boundries established by "particular" thought. it placed you in a world that you could redefine using "universal" concepts.
    Sythenesia is when you "hear" colours and "smell" sounds.

  2. #2
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    Isn't hearing colours and smelling sounds very particular instead of universal?
    I mean: is "universal" not a common, shared thing...? instead of some mind tripping experience?

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by VictorKaum
    Isn't hearing colours and smelling sounds very particular instead of universal?
    I mean: is "universal" not a common, shared thing...? instead of some mind tripping experience?
    hehe... It would be if you could actually smell colours but we can't in our current state of mind..anymore than we can grasp universal concepts therefore any knowledge gained from such expermentation can give a POSSIBLE perpective on how these concepts can be percieved.

    I have seen this example used before and its a good one to paint this picture.

    Take a two dimentional being who lives in a world where only length and breadth can be understood. He can have no concept of "depth" . It can only be understood by a three dimentional being. The truth about "depth" is a universal concept to this being...how do you describe it to him. For him to understand it he must rise about the limitations of his perpective.
    He must abandon the paradigm that there can only be length and breadth. Now lets pretend that this being lives on a sheet of paper..he can travel the length and breadth of it but he cannot comprehend its depth.An acid trip might serve to give him some small perspective on the thin edge of the paper.

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