François Julien (2008) defines the universal: “a necessity formed a priori,” that which is true before experience, which seeks to “establish a norm for all humanity.”  A universal is something that is always and everywhere true, upon which other truths are structured. However, belief in a universal does not entail the rejection of other possibilities, nor the need to eradicate them.  A coeval understanding of universality recognizes the potential of a plurality of universals, as opposed to the totalizing effects of uniformity.

Distinct from universality, the concept of globalized uniformity seeks to standardize values across cultures.  The recognition of the coexistence of diverse universals standing in resistance of global uniformity is essential for coeval relations between people.

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