System Attribute: 
Term Designation: 


Term Characters: 

Positive and Negative

Connectivity of Terms: 


System Description: 

What it is and What it does

Examples: Yin-Yang, Man-Woman, Being-Nothing, Finite-Infinite, Private-Public

"An instructive demonstration of the irreducibility of the dyad is found in Hegel's Logic ... The dialectic which claims to leave the dyad behind in the act of synthesis does no more than pass from the dyad to the triad leaving the complementarity of the opposing terms intact. This can be seen in the dyad Being -- Nothing. This is an authentic dyad and it comes from the monad by the two methods of centripetal and centrifugal approach. The monad is the totality of recurrent elements without distinction. It is true that looked at in one way this is pure being, while in another aspect it is nothing. It is also true that there is a triad Being - Nothing - Becoming, but the triad does not resolve the contradiction; it is a step in understanding the nature of reality, and a very important step, but it is not a step out of the situation presented to us by the very nature of our experience. We still remain confronted with the contradiction that the attempt to derive understanding from knowledge leads us both to pure being and to nothing. We pass through the dyad to come to the triad we do not move out of it. The dyad does not supersede the monad, nor is it superseded by the triad into which it leads. It is always permissible to regard any structure we meet as a monad - that is as diversity in unity - but the better we grasp the universal character of the structure, the more clearly does its inherent polarity become apparent. The universe itself is impregnated with the male and female principles." [DU3 p20-21]

An extract from The Dyad by Anthony Blake. The full work is available from DuVersity Publications (click here).


Dyadic thinking is easily found in the currents of existentialism (e.g. Kierkegaard) and philosophy of organism (e.g. Bergson). It’s most recent appearance has been heavily influenced by quantum mechanics (e.g. Bohr and Bohm) and we should be mindful of the continuing arguments about what quantum mechanics means. We have included also examples from mysticism (e.g. Weil and Low). Both David Bohm and Albert Low were connected at some time with John Bennett. The final quote is taken from a paper on global marketing by Harry Hillman!

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

Niels Bohr (1885 – 1962)

The Complementarity Principle

Simone Weil (1909 – 1943)

David Bohm (1917 – 1992)

Basic Dyads in Contemporary Physics

Published in the journal Systematics, Vol. 1 No. 3(1963)

Albert Low (1928 - )

Towards a Logic of Ambiguity

Harry Hillman

The Competitiveness of Nations in a Global Knowledge-Based Economy

An Interdisciplinary Studies PhD Thesis by Harry Hillman Chartrand © at the University of Saskatchewan