14 Nov 2014

Priest (1.1) One, ‘The Illusion of Simplicity”

 

by Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlying and bracketed commentary are my own.]

 

Summary of


Graham Priest


One:
Being an Investigation into the Unity of Reality and of its Parts, including the Singular Object which is Nothingness


Part 1: Unity


Ch.1: Gluons and their Wicked Ways


1.1 The Illusion of Simplicity



Brief Summary:

As we perceive, think, and react emotionally to one thing or another, ‘oneness’ must be a basic structure of our thought and experience. But trying to understand it philosophically wraps us into many complicated conceptual problems, so the seeming simplicity of the notion of ‘one’ is illusory.

 


Summary

 

Oneness is one of the most very basic structures of our thought and experience, as we are often thinking, perceiving, and reacting emotionally to some one thing or another. We must have some fundamental grasp of what it means for something to be just one thing. And of all the simple philosophical concepts, including being, existence through time, identity, intentionality, and so on, ‘one’ seems to be the simplest concept and the most fundamental because it is “embroiled in all of the them” (5). But when we try to think about it, we find ourselves wrapped up in difficult conceptual problems.


Answering the question ‘what does it mean to be one?’ draws us into a number of interlocking problems. Priest now turns to one of them: “how, if an object has parts, these cooperate to produce a unity—one thing” (5).

 



 

 

Priest, Graham. One: Being an Investigation into the Unity of Reality and of its Parts, including the Singular Object which is Nothingness. Oxford: Oxford University, 2014.



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