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The Aristotelian Case for Middle Reality

Posted in Levels of Reality, and Technical Philosophy

Idea: Imitating Aristotle leads us to conclude that reality is in the middle.

Reality isn’t at the top.1 Nor is it at the bottom. It’s in the middle.

Theme Song


There are well-motivated forms of both reductionism and unificationism. And many people accept both. The two views are contradictory, however. They cancel each other out, leaving you in the middle.


But choosing the middle preserves both theories. Reductionism works for everything from “groups” and “systems” up. They are mere aggregates. The Buddhists are right, but about the wrong ontological level.

Similarly, unificationism works for everything below living things. Any part of a larger whole derives its identity from that whole. The Aristotelians are right, but about reality only up to roughly the personal level.

Aristotle FTW

Aristotle founded logic, which is about consistency and contradiction. (See Reason 1, above.) He also claimed that a good theory “preserves the phenomena.” It explains how things seem to (a) you, (b) people in general, and (c) the experts. And your explanation of (a) should preserve as much of (b) and (c) as possible. (See Reason 2, above).

Next time, we’ll have another argument for middle reality.2


  1. That is, unificationism is wrong. However, I think some form of originalism is right.
  2. This reminds you of Tolkien’s “Middle Earth.” You love Tolkien, and hence agree with me.

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