Dualism: the fixation of difference

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While this page is unwritten, see the chapter introduction for a better explanation. What follows is a very abstract summary of some key points.

Dualism is the stance that individuals can be unambiguously identified and separated. It fixates boundaries and denies connections.

In the dualistic stance, the self exists separately from other people, from the world, and from any sort of eternal ordering principle such as God. Fear of contamination by the nebulosity of reality—always changing and ambiguous—motivates dualism.

Dualism comes in both eternalist and nihilist forms. Eternalist dualism is typical of traditional Western religions. It holds that the true self, or soul, is separate from God, or other eternal ordering principle. God is transcendent and separate from the world. (Eternalist monism, by contrast, asserts the ultimate identity of God, the world, and the soul.)

The scientific-materialist world view tends toward nihilist dualism (although it is possible to hold a scientific-materialist view without either nihilism or dualism). On this view, individuals exist separately, but have no real meaning or purpose.