Any view which analyzes a given subject-matter, be it the universe as a whole or merely some area of concern, in terms of exactly two fundamentally distinct and opposed ideas.

Reality may be divided into matter and spirit, a person into body and soul, propositions into analytic and synthetic, judgments into factual and evaluative, to name a few philosophically influential dualisms.

Opponents may say a given dualism is not sharp, or not exhaustive, or even does not exist at all.

A O Lovejoy, The Revolt against Dualism (1930); defends one kind of dualism

Dualism most commonly refers to:

  • Mind–body dualism, a philosophical view which holds that mental phenomena are, at least in certain respects, not physical phenomena, or that the mind and the body are distinct and separable from one another
    • Property dualism, a view in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics which holds that, although the world is composed of just one kind of substance—the physical kind—there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties
  • Cosmological dualism, the theological or spiritual view that there are only two fundamental concepts, such as “good” and “evil”, and that these two concepts are in every way opposed to one another

Dualism may also refer to:

  • Dualism (cybernetics), systems or problems in which an intelligent adversary attempts to exploit the weaknesses of the investigator
  • Dualism (Indian philosophy), the belief held by certain schools of Indian philosophy that reality is fundamentally composed of two parts
  • Dualism (politics), the separation of powers between the cabinet and parliament
  • Epistemological dualism, the epistemological question of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain
  • Ethical dualism, the attribution of good solely to one group of people and evil to another
  • Monism and dualism in international law, a principle in contending that international and domestic law are distinct systems of law, and that international law only applies to the extent that it does not conflict with domestic law
  • Soul dualism, the belief that a person has two (or more) kinds of souls


  • Dualism (album), a 2011 album by Dutch metal band ‘Textures
  • Dualist (album), a 2011 album by Taken by Cars
  • Dualism, a novel by Bill DeSmedt

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