Stability and Change

If none of you know, I started a thread called Particulars and Universals, which can be found here ( In that, it was found that there was a contradiction between Universals and Particulars. It came down, as part of what is universal and what is particular, is that Universals don’t change. But this seems to be related to those things that change and those that don’t. But how do you get those things that don’t change from change, or how do you get those things that change from those things that don’t change. They, obviously, seem like contradictions as well.

Now one of the metaphysical issues that is involved is also that of the difference between becoming and being. What’s the deal with all of this? :unamused:

I don’t see how we can do without using universals in describing particulars. We would have to create a new word for every particular we experience. It’s just a matter of expedience.

Universals are a necessary feature of language, and the world is all particulars in the end.

I don’t see this as a contradiction, or a problem, as long as you don’t confuse the language we use with the world.

Language is not physical that’s why it is free from that kind of natural change.

Well, you’re using two logically contradictory things on one another and to make sense of things. You’re using contradictions to make sense of things. The other point is that one thing never changes, and the other thing, as you admit, changes. So you’re using what never changes to make sense of what changes. And this would also indicate that what you bring up with language isn’t physical, more interesting. Because you’re using language to make sense of these things. And so what you use to make sense of things isn’t physical. What would even physical be? Would this be something that changes or doesn’t change either? How could the non-physical make sense of the physical, when the physical isn’t the non-physical or have a relation to it?

Let’s back up. The word “ZenKitty” is, because it’s a word, an abstraction. All words are. In this case, it’s a proper noun, and we take it to be referring to the person who uses that username, and only that person. The person is a particular, and we will often say that the word “ZenKitty” is as well, but it’s not. It’s a word that designates a particular. And we understand that this particular exists.

The question about universals has been whether they, in some sense, exist. If they do not exist empirically, then “universals” are also just terms.

Meanings, per se, do not exist empirically.

How do i use contradiction to make sense of things?

Let me try this. Logic is about language, not about the world. The world isn’t contradictory or non-contradictory, like Anon said (i think he said that). I don’t make sense to say that about the world itself, because it isn’t conceptualised It’s the things we say about the world that are contradictory or not contradictory… language.

Now how is it contradictory to use universals in describing particulars. I don’t see this. Universals are just the tools we use in describing the world. It isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we have. And there really can’t be another way, unless you would want to use an infinite amout of words.

I’m not even talking about if Universals exist or not, but what I said would seem to work against them as well. I just pointed out that they’re logically contradictory. I mean, you deny a universal with a particular, for pete sake. But they also take part in change and permanent. And this seems to carry that same problem.

But now you’re bringing up language. How did language, a universal, “designate” the particular, which is it’s logical contradictory?

The immutable causes the mutation.
The new mutation causes a new immutable.
The new immutable causes a new mutation.
…which causes a newer immutable
…which causes a newer mutation
…and so on.

That pattern itself is immutable
…and thus causes mutations
…which cause new immutables


As anon pointed out, you use the universals to make sense of the particulars. But these things are logically contradictory, and so using logically contradictory things to make sense of each other.

Do you understand that this would just be illogical itself? I mean, you did say, “The world isn’t contradictory and non-contradictory”. That’s just a contradiction, plain and simple. And don’t forget that “anon”, if you want to go with what they said, said that we make sense of the world with these these contradictories. And “anon” pointed out that if you don’t have concepts, then you don’t have experiences and are “dead”. But this is all concepts and language, and the language is contradictory. And how would you even be able to say that the world isn’t contradictory itself? This seems to be the resort that people go to when they find out that language our the way we think of the world is contradictory. They’ll just say that the world isn’t contradictory itself.

It’s contradictory because universals are outside of space and time, and particulars are in space and time. Universals are unrestricted and particulars are restricted. The universals never change and the particulars change. But now you bring up we use them to describe the world, but what is the world? If we accept what you say about language, then we find it’s infected with a contradiction. And so we use it to describe the world. But now you’re probably going to describe the world with that language, and wouldn’t be describing the world if the world isn’t contradictory. And there is another way, but it wouldn’t be what most consider. You just don’t use words, because the world doesn’t have words as you admitted. That’s the best way to get at it, if that’s the way it is.

Being different or even opposite is NOT being “contradictory” unless applied to the exact same object or topic.

Really? So a bird is not a bird? Interesting. And restricted is not restricted?

You do not deny a particular with a universal. They are just two different degrees of abstraction. Universals and particulars are both features of language, unless you’re equivocating with “particular”. Universals are always features of language. “Particular” can refer to a feature of language or a thing. Which way do you mean it?

When a bird is different or opposite than a bird, then it will be a contradiction, until then, you have deduced nothing from what was said.

Particulars that haven’t been conceptualised by abstractions, universals can’t be contradictory with something else. You just got to see this. Otherwise all is lost.

I’m not necessarily going by all he said, just this point. And it’s not a contradiction to say that, look at it as a third category. Contradicory and non-contradictory don’t apply there.

An apple is not kind, or not not kind. Kindness just doesn’t apply there.

Universals never change like the world does as a physical proces. But they can and do change because we come up with new words and concepts…

Anyway i don’t see why this is so difficult to understand. Let take this example. That particular tabel changes over time, the label tabel doesn’t… for a decent amount of time we still can call it a tabel allthough it has changed slightly. This works well enough because it still as usefull to us as a tabel. But in a 1000 years the tabel has turned into dust. Then we just stop calling it a tabel, but dust. I mean i don’t see the problem. We don’t have to be that exact all the time, unless you’re a carpenter or something.

This… just isn’t a contradiction. This reads like the medievals, tying themselves up in knots over relations - “an apple is bigger than a grape and smaller than a chicken - but how can it be bigger and smaller? A logical contradiction!”

You divide reality up into particulars. You abstract features common to particulars, and get universals. If the particular changes, so that it has things in common with different particulars, you use the different universals to describe it.

Maybe not a relevant question, but what do you hope to achieve by resolving the “contradiction” you’ve found?



Logically speaking, you have;

A) the set of ONLY items that are universals
B) the set of ONLY items that are particulars
C) the set of ONLY items that are universals that are also particulars
D) the set of ONLY items that are neither universal nor particular.

Sets (A) and (D) are empty sets.

All universals are also particulars and some particulars are also universal.

Try this–universals really don’t exist. Language form–i.e., grammar–tries to place emphasis on the abstractions that give words their meanings. The English/American languages emphasize cause and effect, that’s why our grammar is basically subject, predicate, object. But that doesn’t always lead to universals. To claim a universal would have to mean that you can, without a single deviation, propose that all (abstract) particulars will lead to an (equally abstract) universal, since all we have is our language and grammar with which to define and/or describe a phenomenon–whether it’s a white raven or the initial Singularity.

Since our grammar is, of seems to be, based on cause/effect, and if it’s true that language and grammar shape the way we view our world, then we expect and anticipate we can derive universals from particulars. We can’t.

Science, as I understand science, doesn’t even do that. Science works with probabilities.

first, you’ve just agreed that universals and particulars are of the same kind, but of different degrees, which is that of abstraction. I can only wonder if you would agree that abstraction is universal? If so, then I it would look that you’re using particular as another way of saying universal. Second, I could careless about the language of it, just the image. And if you agree that it is language, then the language becomes contradictory. But I’m more into the point of this universal permanence, and particular change. Something which is unrestricted in particulars, but the particulars are themselves restricted. One of them never changes, while the other changes all of the time.

No, I don’t understand that. You will have to rephrase for me.

Okay, there’s a third category. There’s something else besides affirmation and negation. And what meaning could this third category have? I mean, we can’t say if it is true or false, because there’s no way to tell, when they’re not even contingent, or necessary, or impossible. And an apple is not kind or kind sounds nice., but what sense does that even make?

Your fist sentence is just senseless, I mean it is literally contradictory. You brought up that universals can, and in fact do, change. But you qualified this with us coming up with new words and concepts. So you admitted that universals do change, and yet you said that universals never change. This is a problem here, unless you reject the law of non-contradiction. You don’t have to accept.

And I don’t know what’s more interesting, how you’re basically denying universals (which is what some have said are what is imbedded in the particulars), or that you’re just about admitting that we’re using our words to refer to things that we know it doesn’t apply to (outside of us saying it is so). So you seem to accept that only particulars exist, which means that only change exists, and deny that there is stability other than us giving these things in change to be stable. What happens when your language refers to something that you admit that your language doesn’t refer to?

First, I don’t see myself being able to resolve this contradiction.

Interesting. So there’s no problem of relations? And what would the relations be between, since it does involve the at least the idea of two. And there would seem to be some sort of relation going on here, besides them being logically contradictories or that’s there relation itself. But you seem to imply that there are no relations. But maybe you aren’t.

Not sure how you get that you can abstract features common to particulars and get universals. If you do agree that you divide things up into particulars, then do these particulars have a relation with one another, or are they separate from one another? If they’re particulars with relations with one another and they all have something in common, then it seems that there is a universal amongst those particulars. If there aren’t particulars with relation to one another, then there’s nothing in common with them and what one has isn’t the same as the other has. So either there’s nothing in common with particulars and what one has isn’t the same as the other has, or it seems that there is a universal amongst those particulars.