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Thread: Duality

  1. #1

    Default Duality

    It strikes me that intuition, especially Ni is better at dealing with duality than Thinking especially Ti.

    Einstein had a lot of trouble accepting wave particle duality as the complete picture (as do I), but Bohr seemed to have far fewer issues with it.

    Anyway, my terseness in an another was coming off as rude, and I didn't want to further derail that thread.

    I was raised in a Hindu family, so duality is not a foriegn concept. But I cannot say I understand it.

    So what is the nature of duality?

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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, it is the idea that a thing that is both itself and its opposite. It suggests that what would normally be considered a paradox is actually the way things are.

    Don't quote me on that, though... I haven't read much about it, and that's just what I've gathered from the way I've heard it used.

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    Enigma Nadir's Avatar
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    Yes, athenian's definition is simple and concise. And her signature also showcases an example, from Hegel and his thoughts on dialectic.
    Not really.

  4. #4

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    I have a lot of trouble with dualities. They seem like "mere conventions." These are the words that reflect my true beliefs about dualities. I am sorry the words offend. But if someone could clarify my thinking regarding dualities, I would appreciate it.

    IMO, paradoxes don't actually exist, but simply point out the lack of coherence in our understanding. If you want, I subscribe to the "Socratic" version of the dialectic described in Nadir's link.

    I get that the creation and destruction are "two sides of the same coin." But it is not a paradox. To me it is a simple matter of poor labeling. We are usually creating something different from what is being destroyed. If what is being destroyed is "the same" as what is being created, it is again just inadequate labeling. Re-label what is being destroyed and what is being created, and the paradox disappears. The paradox was only in our minds to begin with.

    I get that hot and cold are "two sides of the same coin." "Hot" cannot really exist without "cold" (or at least "not-hot"). But again, this seems like a matter of labeling. Hot is inherently defined with respect to a reference frame, so where ever you set "hot," determines that below it is not hot. But even here the arbitrariness of the labels (compared to the definiteness of reality) shines through. Most of the time, there is also cool, luke-warm, and warm (to name a few) between "hot" and "cold." If we were to set the label for "hot" to mean every temperature including absolute zero, the there is no "not hot." But that does not mean that heat energy doesn't exist outside our subjective labeling of these things.

    The same goes for matter and space. What we often refer to as matter is actually composed mostly of empty space. Again, it is a matter of labeling. Just because we consider rigid bodies to be matter when designing a building, doesn't mean that the space in the atoms of the rigid body goes away. Our labeling is done for our convenience. Our labeling may lead to paradoxes, but to me that is simply an indication that we need better labeling.

    Even the wave-particle duality seems to me a matter of labeling. We are trying to describe the quantum world by stretching our analogies from medium-scale physical systems (where we think of waves as water waves as our main analogy, and particles as rigid balls, like billiard balls, as our main analogy). The mathematical description doesn't show a "paradox" in the wave-particle duality (thought they exist in other parts of the formulation--again inadequate labeling). Metaphorical thinking is fought with inaccuracies. I don't think we should be surprised when "paradoxes" come up because of our use of metaphors.

    Anyway, if someone could show me a non-labeling based paradox that is actually true, then I may more clearly understand what is meant by the "dual-nature of existence."

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  5. #5
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    The fact of the matter is, labels are relative. They are subjectively chosen tags which we attempt to use to form objective observations. However, the label only exists within our minds, and thus so does the objective observation. But since we can pick a relative label that we all understand, we are capable of sharing the objective observation.

    If you were to go to China and talk to a man who never heard about the American measurement system and ask him for a yard of yarn or a gallon of milk, then he would have no idea what you are talking about. He doesn't understand those relative measures so he can't share the same objective observation.

    It's impossible to understand dualities if you can only percieve objectively. Without an understanding of the relative nature of the universe, you are forced to create labels for every variation. Which is ironic, because objective people are forced to utilize relative means of measuring the universe. So even though the measures they use are clearly relative, "yards" and "gallons", they have to believe those measures are objective and would exist outside of human perception in order to understand the universe.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    The fact of the matter is, labels are relative. They are subjectively chosen tags which we attempt to use to form objective observations. However, the label only exists within our minds, and thus so does the objective observation. But since we can pick a relative label that we all understand, we are capable of sharing the objective observation.
    I agree with this part completely. The closest we humans can come to describing objective reality is through repeatable subjective experience. But what is this thing we are trying to get close to? THAT is not subjective, imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    If you were to go to China and talk to a man who never heard about the American measurement system and ask him for a yard of yarn or a gallon of milk, then he would have no idea what you are talking about. He doesn't understand those relative measures so he can't share the same objective observation.
    But people can (and do) make the conversion to metric and fulfill their needs. Again, no real paradox.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    It's impossible to understand dualities if you can only percieve objectively. Without an understanding of the relative nature of the universe, you are forced to create labels for every variation. Which is ironic, because objective people are forced to utilize relative means of measuring the universe. So even though the measures they use are clearly relative, "yards" and "gallons", they have to believe those measures are objective and would exist outside of human perception in order to understand the universe.
    To be clear (as someone labeled objective, in this context), I certainly know that "yards" and "gallons" are human creations. The measurements themselves aren't what I consider to exist outside myself, but WHAT I AM MEASURING.

    Otherwise, why make the measurement at all? Why not just create some number off the top of my head and quote that as the "measurement?"

    EDIT: Sorry, if the frustration is too clear in my tone.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Don't worry, I know it must be frustrating... let me try again.

    Dualism is the idea that things we usually see as opposite are actually two aspects of the same thing... thus, that there really is no paradox. Dualism eliminates (or tries to eliminate) paradox, in a way. It's like the idea that things move towards balance...

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Don't worry, I know it must be frustrating... let me try again.

    Dualism is the idea that things we usually see as opposite are actually two aspects of the same thing... thus, that there really is no paradox. Dualism eliminates (or tries to eliminate) paradox, in a way.
    If that's all it is, than I just put myself on a wild goose chase.

    Seems to me like just a temporary stop-gap. A way to appease one self to move on to something else for a while.

    It is not really eliminating the paradox, so much as living with our own inadequate (paradox generating) descriptions for a while. I can accept that.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #9
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Otherwise, why make the measurement at all? Why not just create some number off the top of my head and quote that as the "measurement?"
    Ah, you are trying to establish meaning to this concept. The quest for another label! Well there is a group called absurdists who believe that man has been cursed with an unquenchable thirst to understand a universe that is entirely unknowable. I tend to side with them. Objectivists attempt to standardize relative measurements in order to standardize objective observations. But ultimately what are these standardized objective observations? They are absolute within a certain set up of relative parameters, but what ultimate purpose do they serve? In essence, they are the attempt of man to conform to reality. Man wants to be in line with the universe so he can understand it. And man can succeed to an extant by limiting his perception of reality, but it is absurd to apply his limited objective understanding to the entirety of the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    If that's all it is, than I just put myself on a wild goose chase.

    Seems to me like just a temporary stop-gap. A way to appease one self to move on to something else for a while.

    It is not really eliminating the paradox, so much as living with our own inadequate (paradox generating) descriptions for a while. I can accept that.
    I disagree with that assessment, but if it makes you happy, then go with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  10. #10
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    If that's all it is, than I just put myself on a wild goose chase.

    Seems to me like just a temporary stop-gap. A way to appease one self to move on to something else for a while.

    It is not really eliminating the paradox, so much as living with our own inadequate (paradox generating) descriptions for a while. I can accept that.
    You've almost got it... but there's another element.

    It also conveys the idea that in essence, describing something leaves something out. To define something is to focus on the one aspect of it that seems most significant, and ignore the rest. Meaning that you will invariably ignore the part of what you understand that doesn't already conform to the description of it you (perhaps unconsciously) form of it, because the reality of it is too complex and needs to be simplified in some way to be processed by the mind.

    Let me give you another example. You can count upwards infinitely, but you never reach infinity. You can keep getting closer, but you can never reach it. The same applies if you go downwards towards infinity with negative numbers. And a fraction never disappears completely, no matter how many times you divide it, but just gets infinitely smaller. That doesn't mean you should stop trying to count. I think Kiddo is being a bit dismissive and critical here, although I understand what he's saying.

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