Is everything four? Some try to prove it with a numerological trick. Take a word. Count its letters. Convert the number to words. Count letters. Repeat. Every English word seems to end up on four or 4, with nowhere else to go! Voila!
Since I’ve searched for this topic, a musician has released an album with this title. Cool!
But what do I mean by it? Everything can be divided into four parts, or has four aspects, or four sides, or what? I’m not sure, exactly.
But let’s test it against Alfred Whitehead’s Criteria for Metaphysical Theories!
- Is it consistent? Yes! That is, nothing in the theory contradicts other parts of the theory, because there are no other parts. And if something is part of a foursome, that something can also be a foursome (even if an arbitrary one).
- Is it coherent? Yes! That is, the theory is logically whole, such as it is. A bit boring? Perhaps…
- Is it applicable? Yes! That is, we can apply our method to reduce something to four parts to everything, as long as we don’t care what the parts are. Plus we can combine anything with three other things, ad nauseum!
- Is it adequate? No, not really. It does little to explain itself or the rest of the world.
So, we must continue our search for our ultimate metaphysical theory. It must be everything is four, plus something else… plus two more somethings…
Whitehead’s Criteria for Metaphysical Theories