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[doo-uh-liz-uh m, dyoo-] /ˈdu əˌlɪz əm, ˈdyu-/
the state of being dual or consisting of two parts; division into two.
  1. the view that there are just two mutually irreducible substances.
    Compare monism, pluralism.
  2. the view that substances are either material or mental.
  1. the doctrine that there are two independent divine beings or eternal principles, one good and the other evil.
  2. the belief that a human being embodies two parts, as body and soul.
Origin of dualism
1785-95; dual + -ism
Related forms
dualist, noun, adjective
nondualism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dualism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In my opinion, this antithesis of monism and dualism is the most important in the whole history of philosophy.

    The Wonders of Life Ernst Haeckel
  • In the transition from dualism to monism Malebranche served as a mediator.

  • It is only with reluctance that mans desire for knowledge endures a dualism of this kind.

    Sidelights on Relativity Albert Einstein
  • We need only pause to note Chesterton personifies this dualism.

  • As realism generally coincides with monism, so idealism is usually identical with dualism.

    The Wonders of Life Ernst Haeckel
  • That is the dualism which dogs humanity in the mass no less than in the individual.

    A Poor Man's House Stephen Sydney Reynolds
  • There is no dualism, such as instrumental music and vocal music.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • Though no longer quite the Cartesian dualism, this is still a dualism.

    The Mind and the Brain Alfred Binet
British Dictionary definitions for dualism


the state of being twofold or double
(philosophy) the doctrine, as opposed to idealism and materialism, that reality consists of two basic types of substance usually taken to be mind and matter or two basic types of entity, mental and physical Compare monism
  1. the theory that the universe has been ruled from its origins by two conflicting powers, one good and one evil, both existing as equally ultimate first causes
  2. the theory that there are two personalities, one human and one divine, in Christ
Derived Forms
dualist, noun
dualistic, adjective
dualistically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dualism

1755 as a term in philosophy, from French dualisme (1754); also used in theological senses; see dual + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dualism in Medicine

dualism du·al·ism (dōō'ə-lĭz'əm, dyōō'-)

  1. The theory that blood cells have two origins, from the lymphatic system and from the bone marrow.

  2. The view in psychology that the mind and body function separately, without interchange.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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dualism in Culture

dualism definition

In philosophy and theology, any system that explains phenomena by two opposing principles. Many philosophers hold to a dualism of mind and matter, or mind and body. For many theologians, the two principles are those of good and evil.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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