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Concepts and universal structure

Every political and philosophical theory is only as useful as the number of variables the theory takes into account. In some way, every political and philosophical theory can be said to have a certain amount of predictive power, a certain illuminating factor. Every school of thought can be seen as an attempt to define a boundary between that which is inside and that which is outside. Some political theories focus on the divide between the citizen and the state. Some philosophical theories focus on the divide between thought and matter. And this divide could be metaphorically interpreted as a grammar which allows causal associations: as a way to understand the changing relationship between the inside and the outside.

The growth of every theory requires experimentation. And experimentation requires that one side of the coin is held constant, either the inside or the outside. The boundary between the inside and outside is refined through experimentation. Somethings that were originally considered to belong outside were actually found to belong inside, and vice versa. In an abstract, all theories are just a crystallization of  information through an empirical process that discerns the inside from the outside. Though the initial divide could be seen as arbitrary, that which survives repeated experiments is not. Given enough experimentation, the center of the inside becomes an approximation of part of some universal structure, regardless of how the conceptual space is initially cut. 

Every theory attempts to capture the true universal structure. Yet it may be that every theory which discerns between an inside and an outside inherently and ultimately cripples itself, for it may be that the universal structure is not something that can be represented by a simple cut. It could be that the only theories that can approximate the true universal structure are theories that are self-aware of the conceptual cuts they are making. A kind of fractal structure. It could be that absoluteness is not in the contents of the inside or outside, but in the cuts themselves. There could be a mathematical structure to the cuts that reveal the true universal structure.

If the true universal structure cannot be captured by a simple conceptual cut, then no simple political or philosophical theory will ever have complete predictive power. And perhaps the only useful theory is that which is able to determine which cut is useful and which cut is not. And perhaps this is also the primary function of intelligence.


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