Closure: A Short History of Everything

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Closure: A Story of Everything is a philosophical description of the world put forward by Hilary Lawson. It is an attempt to provide an account that overcomes the problems of self-reference inherent in other philosophical systems. The theory of closure provides a new vocabulary with which to do this. In so doing it manages to provide a way of holding the world without need for a recourse to truth.

The resulting framework offers new approaches to the central questions of contemporary philosophy—the character of language and meaning, of the individual and consciousness, of truth and reality. It has consequences for the understanding of the sciences and also accounts for the need and desire for both art and religion. It provides a new description of the organisation of society. The theory of "closure" is self-referential with the consequence that the theory of closure does not offer final answers but a temporary resting place.[1]


The book has been controversial. Its followers have heralded it as significant step forward. Radical theologian, Don Cuppitt, Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, described Closure as "perhaps the first non-realist metaphysics".[2]

Alan Montefiore, Emeritus Fellow, Balliol College, Oxford, said that Hilary Lawson shows himself to be a "latter-day metaphysician on the grand scale".[3] John Ziman, a former editor of Nature, said that the "closure paradigm could prove remarkably versatile and useful... it will surely become a valuable intellectual resource".[4] Others, such as Stephen Mulhall in the Times Literary Supplement, have been critical, arguing that its critique of contemporary philosophy is flawed and the new vocabulary it proposes unnecessary.[5]


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