Dualism: the fixation of difference

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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.


This page is in the section Unity and diversity,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The next page in this section is ⚒ Participation.

The previous page is ⚒ Monism: the denial of difference. (That page introduces its own subsection.)

This page’s topic is Dualism.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2020 David Chapman. Some links are part of Amazon Affiliate Program.