Closure: A Story of Everything

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Psychology Press, 2001 - Philosophy - 372 pages
For over 2000 years our culture has believed in the possibility of a single true account of the world. Now this age is coming to a close. As a result there is a deep unease. We are lost both as individuals, and as a culture. In the new relativistic, post-modern era, we have no history, no right or moral action, and no body of knowledge. In their place is a plethora of alternative, and sometimes incompatible theories from 'fuzzy logic' to 'consilience' proposing a theory of everything. Closure is a response to this crisis. It is a radically new story about the nature of ourselves and of the world.
Closure exposes the central questions of contemporary philosophy: language and meaning, of the individual and identity, of truth and reality, but it is also philosophical in the broader everyday sense that it enables us to make sense of where and who we are. A central principle, the process of closure, is shown to be at the heart of experience and language. As a theory of knowledge it has dramatic consequences for our understanding of the sciences, involving a reinterpretation of what science does and how it is able to do it. It similarly proposes a profound shift in the role of art and religion. But, above all, it reshapes our understanding of ourselves and the organisation of society, our goals and our capacity to achieve them.
A superb new account of how order is created out of disorder, Closure is an exhilarating work of conceptual geography.
 

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Closure proposes a revolutionary type of language to understand the nature of the world. It gives an account of how perception and experience are made possible by a very simple mechanism. A closure is described as the holding of two of more things as one. This is a very effective concept used to put every aspect of experience into perspective. It marks out the limitations of the scientific process, solves ancient and contemporary philosophical problems, provides a compelling definition of art and a basis for understand the role of religion in people's lives. Closure also enables us to better understand the complex social organisation of institutions, offers profound insights into the nature and make up of language and establishes a conceptual framework to build intelligent machines. All-in-all a fascinating read for anyone interested in consciousness and existence. 

Contents

Preface
ix
PART I
xlviii
The characteristics of closure
17
The purpose of closure
49
Language as Closure
59
PART III
117
The structure of knowledge
133
The closures of science
144
The edge of the world
201
Art and the avoidance of closure
205
Naming the unnameable
226
PARTW
249
Stories of desire
258
The first power relationship
266
repetition and rationality
281
closures of authority
291

What is the world made of 1 65
165
Strategies for closure
177
The closure of closure
187
PART IV
193
institutional space
305
Society change and dreams of utopia
320
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About the author (2001)

Hilary Lawson runs TVF, a major TV production company which produces documentaries and shows for Channel 4 and the BBC. He has a philosophy background

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