This website examines two historical terms, dualism and duality, whose origins have their roots in 16th and 17th centuries in philosophical discourse and geomtric analysis. The goal of this website, in the context of modern science, is to provide evidence that all disciplines, scientific as well as non-scientific, have a component which can be characterized as dualistic. Hence the name DualityScience.
The terms duality and dualism were originally associated with (1) scientific investigations of Huygens and Newton into the properties of visible light, (2) philosophical ideas of Descartes and especially the mind-body problem, and (3) development of projective geometry by Descargues in the study of projective art. The investigation into the scientific, philosophical, and mathematical associations of these terms are relevant in understanding the contemporary usage of these terms.
The terms duality and dualism refer to phenomena having a twofold nature and characterized by states that are mutually exclusive. Duality differs from dualism, however, in that the dichotomous states are mutually interdependent, complementary, and even interchangable. Duality principles, surprisingly, span a spectrum of disciplines, scientific and non-scientific, and are not restricted to the mind-body problem of philosophy. The two terms in modern times are sometimes used interchangeably and is the reason the terms are considere equivalent.
Dualism and duality constructs can be found in almost every scientific and non-scientific discipline and seem to have universal applicability. Dualistic systems and models are ubiquitous can be found in the natural sciences (physics, biology, chemistry); the social sciences (sociology, political science, economics, etc.), the humanities, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy.
DUALITY IN PHYSICS
Zero to Infinity: The Foundations of Physics, published in 2007 by Peter Rowlands, presents a foundational approach to duality concepts in physics. Rowlands proposes that a zero-totality concept is the one upon which all of physics is built. He asserts that, "Ultimately, it would seem, duality is not merely a 'component' of physics but an expression of the fundamental nature of physics itself (p.443)." See Observation V and Observation VI below.
Rowlands has teamed up with biologists, engineers, scientists, and artists. Their website, Nature's Code Foundation, addresses many of the issues surrounding a 400 year-old investigation into ideas associated with dualisms, dualities, polarities, symmetries, and related concepts found in almost every discipline and subdiscipline of the natural, social, and biological sciences.
Dualisms and dualities apply to both the physical world of matter and the non-physical realm of ideas.
Many dualisms can be understood in a dialectical or Hegelian (thesis-antithesis) sense.Observation III:
The dialectical method of Socrates and the deconstruction techniques of Derrida can be utilized to uncover the components in dualistic types of relationships.
If two concepts are dualistic in nature and form a well-defined system then they can be used to draw analogies with other dual systems.
If two concepts have the dualism characteristic then each component can be used as a theoretical basis for investigating the system as whole (as is the case in the Heisenger discrete & Schrodinger continuous equations).
Rowlands' formalism of the Dirac equation effectively nullifies the possibilty of finding a unified-field that describes all fundamental forces. This does not mean that a theory unifying electromagnetism and gravity is an impossibility. It only means that if a unifying force field is discovered physically or derived mathematically then a dual force field must also exist because "a fundamental principle of duality acts to preserve a zer0-totality in our description of nature." Rowlands, P., The Nilpotent Dirac Equation and its Applications in Particle Physics, arXiv:quant-ph/0301071, 2003, pg. 10.
SPAN THE SCIENTIFIC AND
In many cases it is not immediately obvious that paired terms are dualistically related.
Notable exceptions are words that are antonyms, polar opposites, or negations of each other.
Examples of paired-terms in which a dualistic relationship is obvious:
immune - endocrine
inductive - deductive
integration – differentiation
nature - nurture
niche - biotope
oxidation - reduction
particle - wave
permittivity - permeability
points - lines
proton - electron
reflective – reflexive
In scientific and non-scientific nomenclature many words incorporate a notion of dual or paired.
EXAMPLES OF WORDS IMPLYING A DUALISTIC RELATIONSHIP
bifurcation binary bipolar bivalence
complementary conjugate covariant
dialectic diametric dichotomy dipole
pairs parity polarity