more on particulars

To understand what Nature is we have to start from the most general and fundamental aspects of the universe, and then go down to the particular ones. The most general and fundamental aspects of the universe falls in the domain of metaphysics. Once we have presented the universe’s metaphysics, we can analyse the compatibility of this metaphysics with the physical world around us. And once we have analysed the compatibility of the universe’s metaphysics with its physics, we can analyse its compatibility with human nature and society. Man and society are natural phenomena; and as such, they have to be contemplated in the context of a universal Nature.

Particulars are usually studied presupposing the world. When we face a particular, we do so with a preconceived view of the world. And when we study them, we don’t start from scratch trying to understand the nature of the universe, we just accept our world-view and assume that the world is as we know it. And we can do this without major conflicts because we are normally interested on a practical knowledge of things rather than on their nature. Understanding the nature of things, of course, would improve their practical knowledge; but it is not a necessary condition. Practical knowledge can reach, and has reached, extraordinary degrees of perfection even under totally wrong preconceptions of the world (e.g.  the pyramids and Egyptian cosmology; Roman architecture and Roman cosmology; and in modern times, we sent a man to the moon, we sent missions to mars and to the outer solar system, and yet, we can’t agree to what the Nature of the universe is). Now, if instead of practical knowledge we are interested on understanding the nature of things, then we are forced to check our preconceptions of the world for particulars don’t exist in isolation, they exist in the universe, and the nature of all particulars are part of a universal Nature. So to understand the nature of particulars, first we have to understand the Nature of the universe.

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