The Illusory Paradox: A Formal Analysis of Nonduality and Duality

Discussion in 'Advanced Applied Math' started by Earl, Sep 4, 2023.

  1. Earl


    Sep 4, 2023
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    The Illusory Paradox: A Formal Analysis of Nonduality and Duality


    The metaphysical debate between nondual and dual perspectives has surfaced an apparent paradox that has remained unresolved in previous philosophical arguments. Through formal symbolic logic, this paper demonstrates that the alleged paradox stems solely from mutually contradictory assumptions, revealing it to be an illusion requiring no solution. Resolving this illusion of paradox illuminates the necessity of questioning assumptions and employing analytic methods to evaluate absolute claims rationally.


    The metaphysical debate between nondual and dual conceptions of reality has spanned philosophies and centuries (Smith, 1999; Jones, 2005). Nondual schools assert an undifferentiated unity as the fundamental nature of existence, while dualists like Descartes claim apparently irreducible divisions such as subject/object and mind/matter. At the heart of this debate lies an apparent paradox concerning the very possibility of nonduality given the manifest perception of separation and multiplicity. Specifically, dualism claims the self-evident experience of dualities renders nondualism an impossibility, yet nonduality denies any separation or division as mere illusion (Parsons, 2019). This seeming mutual exclusivity creates a conceptual tension that has resisted definitive resolution (Grier, 2007). Prior philosophical attempts at reconciling this central paradox through rhetorical arguments have failed to achieve consensus, with thinkers falling substantially into one metaphysical camp or the other (Albahari, 2009). This paper contends that formal symbolic logic provides the means to break the impasse by demonstrating the supposed paradox as merely an illusion stemming from contradictory premises, rather than requiring harmonization or choice between competing perspectives. By elucidating the precise assumptions underlying the paradox through formal abstraction and unpacking their logical relationships, the analysis reveals their mutual incoherence and thereby dissolves the necessity of solving an apparent dilemma that under scrutiny reveals no actual paradox at all.

    Symbolic Logic Formulation

    To rigorously assess this scenario, nonduality and duality can be formulated as formal logic propositions:

    Let A = "Reality is nondual"

    Let B = "Duality exists"

    In propositional logic, negation is represented by the ¬ symbol:

    ¬A = "Reality is not nondual (is dual)"
    ¬B = "Duality does not exist"

    First, the seeming paradox arises through the conjunction of:


    Which asserts nonduality is true AND duality does not exist. But this contradicts the very definitions, creating incoherence.

    The alternative conjunction:


    Asserts nonduality is false AND duality exists. This is also incoherent, violating the law of non-contradiction by affirming two mutually exclusive claims.

    Any conjunction of A and ¬B or their negations will result in a contradictory premise. From here, various apparent paradoxes can be derived, such as:

    ¬A∧B → ¬B

    But this relies upon an inherently contradictory premise.

    All such derivations reveal nothing more than the incoherence embedded within contradictory premises. No actual logical paradox exists wherein a true dilemma requires solution. The central "paradox" between nonduality and duality dissolves under formal analysis, exposing the illusion stemming from false assumptions and conflated levels of discourse.
    Earl, Sep 4, 2023
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