From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Universality is the quality ascribed to that which is universal, and considered then as in existence everywhere, throughout the Universe. In philosophy, universalism is a doctrine or school in which it is claimed that universal facts can be discovered and which is understood then as being in opposition to relativism. This sense of universal is more restricted, in that it refers to what is universal amongst humans. Rights, for example in natural rights, or in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, for those heavily influenced by the philosophy of the Enlightenment and its conception of a human nature, could be considered as universal. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is inspired by such principles.
In logic, or the consideration of valid arguments, a proposition is said to have universality if it can be conceived as being true in all possible contexts without creating a contradiction. Some philosophers have referred to such propositions as universalizable. Truth is considered to be universal if it is valid in all times and places. In this case, it is seen as eternal or as absolute. The relativist conception denies the existence of universal truths (there being grades of relativism), though relativists generally deny the existence of universal moral values, (thus moral relativists). Mathematics is a field in which those truths discovered, in relation to the field of mathematics, are considerered of universal scope. Usage of the word truth has various domains of application, relativism does not necessarily apply to all of them.