dualism


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dualism,

any philosophical system that seeks to explain all phenomena in terms of two distinct and irreducible principles. It is opposed to monism and pluralism. In PlatoPlato
, 427?–347 B.C., Greek philosopher. Plato's teachings have been among the most influential in the history of Western civilization. Life

After pursuing the liberal studies of his day, he became in 407 B.C. a pupil and friend of Socrates. From about 388 B.
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's philosophy there is an ultimate dualism of being and becoming, of ideas and matter. AristotleAristotle
, 384–322 B.C., Greek philosopher, b. Stagira. He is sometimes called the Stagirite. Life

Aristotle's father, Nicomachus, was a noted physician. Aristotle studied (367–347 B.C.
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 criticized Plato's doctrine of the transcendence of ideas, but he was unable to escape the dualism of form and matter, and in modern metaphysicsmetaphysics
, branch of philosophy concerned with the ultimate nature of existence. It perpetuates the Metaphysics of Aristotle, a collection of treatises placed after the Physics [Gr.
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 this dualism has been a persistent concept. In modern philosophy dualism takes many forms. Thus in Immanuel KantKant, Immanuel
, 1724–1804, German metaphysician, one of the greatest figures in philosophy, b. Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Early Life and Works
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 there is an ontological dualism between the phenomenal and noumenal worlds and an epistemological dualism between the passivity of sensation and the spontaneity of the understanding. In psychology occasionalism and interactionism both assumed a dualism of mind and matter. The term also has a theological application, e.g., ManichaeismManichaeism
or Manichaeanism
, religion founded by Mani (c.216–c.276). Mani's Life

Mani (called Manes by the Greeks and Romans) was born near Baghdad, probably of Persian parents; his father may have been a member of the Mandaeans.
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 explained evil in the world as resulting from an ultimate evil principle, coeternal with good. See also monismmonism
[Gr.,=belief in one], in metaphysics, term introduced in the 18th cent. by Christian von Wolff for any theory that explains all phenomena by one unifying principle or as manifestations of a single substance.
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 and pluralismpluralism,
in philosophy, theory that considers the universe explicable in terms of many principles or composed of many ultimate substances. It describes no particular system and may be embodied in such opposed philosophical concepts as materialism and idealism. Empedocles, G. W.
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.
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dualism

any doctrine in which the fundamental forms of things, 'S ubstances’, reality, etc, are seen as of two contrasting types, without any possibility of one being reduced to the other, for example:
  1. (PHILOSOPHY) a distinction between ‘material’ things and ‘mental’ ideas;
  2. (SOCIOLOGY) distinctions between nature and nurture (see NATURE–NURTURE DEBATE), or between individual agency and the structural determination of social outcomes.

In philosophy, the alternative to dualism is monism, which asserts that ‘things’, substances, etc, are all of one basic kind, either ‘material’ in form (see MATERIALISM) or ‘mental’. A further position, REALISM, argues that there is only one reality, even if this reality is 'S tratified’, i.e. contains fundamental differences of type, even if stopping short of dualism.

In current philosophy and sociology rather than an outright ‘dualism’, a frequent position is to recognize the utility of thinking in terms of a duality of forms -mind and matter, or structure and agency – in which there exists a dialectical interaction between the two kinds of‘thing’, but with no justification for sustaining a claim that there exist any ultimately irreducible kinds, e.g. see DUALITY OF STRUCTURE. See also DESCARTES, STRUCTURE AND AGENCY.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dualism

 

a philosophical doctrine that proceeds from the recognition of the two fundamental principles—spirit and matter, the ideal and the material—as equal and not reducible to each other. Dualism is opposed to monism (materialistic or idealistic), which proceeds from the recognition of only one principle as fundamental, and can be regarded as a variant of pluralism, which asserts a multiplicity of principles of being. The term “dualism” was introduced by the German philosopher C. Wolff and designated the recognition of two substances: the material and the spiritual. One of the most important spokesmen for the dualistic position was R. Descartes, who divided being into a thinking substance (the spirit) and an extended substance (matter). Descartes resolved the problem of the interrelation of these two substances within man (the psychophysical problem) from the position of psychophysical parallelism, according to which psychological and physiological processes do not depend on each other.

Characteristic of modern philosophy are the forms of epistemological dualism that, as distinct from ontological dualism, proceed not from the contraposition of substances but from the opposition of a knowing subject to a known object. Thus, for J. Locke and D. Hume consciousness appears as a totality of isolated perceptions, feelings, and ideas, which do not have a unifying substantial basis. Another variant of epistemological dualism was presented by E. Kant, who regarded consciousness as an activity that orders the data of experience according to its own laws, which are independent of the external world according to a priori forms of sensory apprehension and reason. Epistemological dualism is invariably connected with agnosticism—the conviction that the world cannot be known by the consciousness.

The concept of dualism is also applied to conceptions and doctrines that assert the equality of any opposed fundamental principles or spheres: thus, one speaks of the dualism of good and evil in Manichaeism and of the dualism, characteristic of the Kantian tradition, of the world of nature, that is, the world of phenomena, which is structured according to the principle of causality (necessity), as opposed to the world of freedom, that is, of “things in themselves.” Dialectical materialism is opposed to all forms of dualism; it asserts materialistic monism, which proceeds from the conviction that all phenomena in the world are different forms and manifestations of moving matter.

D. M. LUKANOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
After an introductory chapter ("Interpreting Asceticism in Plato"), Zoller goes on to show that the normative dualism she advocates does a better job of explicating the dialogues than does ascetic dualism.
Whereas religion must connect human beings to all levels of human identity up to and including reality at large (the entirety of which is understood to be spanned by the presence, knowledge, and creative power of God), thus in effect defining the human soul by way of the connection, Cartesian dualism cuts the soul in two, setting man adrift from physical reality and pitting science and religion against each other.
Familiar military slang--translations machines--captures this role and the active/passive dualism perfectly: the military officer actively communicates with host nationals, the interpreter passively relays the words.
But, Arias-Maldonado insists, understanding this genealogy of dualism forces us to forthrightly acknowledge the inevitability of human transformation of nature.
Throughout the book, author Markus Cerman argues that more recent empirical studies--particularly those that give a voice to East Elbian peasants--demonstrate that the conceptualization of the rural economic history of the region as half of a European, agrarian dualism, which was characterized by a second serfdom in the east, is a myth originating in economic conceptualizations of the Verein fur Socialpolitik, particularly that of Georg Friedrich Knapp.
Corbett argues that "Dante's radical dualism theoretically necessitates, therefore, his conceptual category of the Epicureans [...] The neo-Epicurean category is thus a consequence, and constituent, of Dante's radical dualism" (50).
But Richards does not see this, and accuses Szasz himself of dualism.
She argues that the dualisms themselves are the problem, and give rise to seemingly incompatible problems.
Henry Klumpenhouwer presents a brilliant defense of dualism. He suggests that a dualist perspective includes not just the observation of an inversional relation between major and minor triads, but also a whole system of dualist relations, including Riemann's "Schritt and Wechsel relations between triads." The usual criticisms of dualism look at relations between triads or functions from a monist perspective, and of course find that they do not behave in a dually consistent manner.
While the chronicles of Tolkien and Lewis are used to elucidate these concepts, the integrative dualism of Charles Taliaferro is given as philosophical warrant.
Eastern time, on her show "Why Shamanism Now?: A Practical Path to Authenticity,” shaman and founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing Christina Pratt tells listeners that the heart of shamanism is the pulse, the breath, the dance of complementary dualism, a Tao-like awareness of wholeness expressed in nature, and found in the sustainable, practical philosophies of shamanic peoples around the world.
The results of the current study converge with prior research on Spinoza's understanding of the substance-mode relation, Descartes's defense of substance dualism, Locke's thoughts on the idea of substance, the ultimate substances of Brentano's ontology, and Aristotle's doctrine of substance.