Tag Archives: dialectical monism

Matrix of concepts

The structure of a matrix of concepts

The matrix of concepts is a structure that includes six concepts, which is suitable for modeling many common concepts, such as: courage, recklessness, irresolution, eclecticism, superficiality, clemency, instability, selfishness, objectivity, frankness, brusqueness, altruism, etc. Of the six concepts in the matrix:

  • two are neutral: A0 and Ā0
  • two are positive: A+ and Ā+
  • two are negative: A and Ā

These six concepts constitute the canonical poles of the matrix.

The six concepts of the matrix are in particular relationships with each other. Thus:

  • the neutral concepts A0 and Ā0 are dual
  • the positive concept A+ and the negative concept Ā are opposite (or contrary); similarly, the negative concept A and the positive concept Ā+ are opposite (or contrary)
  • the positive concepts A+ and Ā+ are complementary
  • lastly, the negative concepts A and Ā are extreme opposites
An instance of matrix of concepts

In the above instance of matrix of concepts:

  • the propensity to take risks and the propensity to avoid risks are dual
  • audacity and cowardice are contrary, opposite; in the same way, temerity and prudence are contrary, opposite
  • audacity and prudence are complementary
  • temerity and cowardice are extreme opposites

Moreover, the three concepts located on the left of the matrix constitute a half-matrix: it is the half-matrix associated with the pole A. In the same way, the three concepts located on the right of the matrix constitute the half-matrix associated to the pole Ā.


Franceschi, P., “Une classe de concepts” (in english), Semiotica, vol. 139 (1-4), 2002, pages 211-226.


Ambiguous images Arbitrary focus Bistable perception Complementarity relationship Conflict resolution Conflict resolution with matrices of concepts Conflict types relating to matrices of concepts Contrary relationship Dialectical contextualism Dialectical monism Dialectical monism in Aztec philosophy Dialectical monism in Heraclitus Dichotomic analysis Dichotomic analysis applied to paradox resolution Dichotomous reasoning Disqualification of one pole Disqualification of the positive Dualities Dual poles Extreme opposition General cognitive distortions Instance of one-sidedness bias Matrix of concepts Maximization Mental filter Minimization Bistable cognition Omission of the neutral One-sidedness bias One-sided viewpoint Opposition relationship Principle of dialectical indifference Requalification into the other pole Reference class Reference class problem Reference class problem in philosophical paradoxes Reference class problem in the Doomsday argument Reference class problem in Hempel’s paradox Reference class problem in the surprise examination paradox Selective abstraction Specific cognitive distortions System of taxa Two-sided viewpoint Viewpoint of a duality Viewpoint of a pole




Dialectical monism

Dialectical monism is a philosophical doctrine that tends to consider that objects present an intrinsic unity, which results from the union of the dual poles that characterize them. The difference with monism in general lies in the fact that unity results in dialectical monism, from the union of the dual or opposite poles which are inherent to the objects.

In the ancient Aztec philosophy, we find a form of dialectical monism.

In the same way, a form of dialectical monism is present in the thought of Heraclitus.


Ambiguous images Arbitrary focus Bistable perception Complementarity relationship Conflict resolution Conflict resolution with matrices of concepts Conflict types relating to matrices of concepts Contrary relationship Dialectical contextualism Dialectical monism Dialectical monism in Aztec philosophy Dialectical monism in Heraclitus Dichotomic analysis Dichotomic analysis applied to paradox resolution Dichotomous reasoning Disqualification of one pole Disqualification of the positive Dualities Dual poles Extreme opposition General cognitive distortions Instance of one-sidedness bias Matrix of concepts Maximization Mental filter Minimization Bistable cognition Omission of the neutral One-sidedness bias One-sided viewpoint Opposition relationship Principle of dialectical indifference Requalification into the other pole Reference class Reference class problem Reference class problem in philosophical paradoxes Reference class problem in the Doomsday argument Reference class problem in Hempel’s paradox Reference class problem in the surprise examination paradox Selective abstraction Specific cognitive distortions System of taxa Two-sided viewpoint Viewpoint of a duality Viewpoint of a pole

Dialectical monism in Aztec philosophy

It is worth mentioning a form of dialectical monism in the ancient Aztec philosophy and especially in the concept of ” Teotl “, which is at the center of Aztec metaphysics and cosmology. Teotl is the expression of an endless alternation of continuous and cyclical oscillation between opposite poles. Teotl is thus characterized by a dual prominent structure, which results from the union of opposites , themselves characterized by complementarity. The dual pairs involved include : the masculine and the feminine, dark and light, order and disorder, hot and cold, life and death, being and non-being etc. The interdependence and higher union of the principles of life and death in Teotl, for example, was represented by Aztec artists of Tlatilco and Oaxaca in masks where one half is alive while the other half died, revealing the skull bones.


James Maffie, Aztec Philosophy, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Ambiguous images Arbitrary focus Bistable perception Complementarity relationship Conflict resolution Conflict resolution with matrices of concepts Conflict types relating to matrices of concepts Contrary relationship Dialectical contextualism Dialectical monism Dialectical monism in Aztec philosophy Dialectical monism in Heraclitus Dichotomic analysis Dichotomic analysis applied to paradox resolution Dichotomous reasoning Disqualification of one pole Disqualification of the positive Dualities Dual poles Extreme opposition General cognitive distortions Instance of one-sidedness bias Matrix of concepts Maximization Mental filter Minimization Bistable cognition Omission of the neutral One-sidedness bias One-sided viewpoint Opposition relationship Principle of dialectical indifference Requalification into the other pole Reference class Reference class problem Reference class problem in philosophical paradoxes Reference class problem in the Doomsday argument Reference class problem in Hempel’s paradox Reference class problem in the surprise examination paradox Selective abstraction Specific cognitive distortions System of taxa Two-sided viewpoint Viewpoint of a duality Viewpoint of a pole

Dialectical monism in Heraclitus

In the antique Western world, dialectical monism appears not much widespread. But we notably find an elaborate form of dialectical monism in Heraclitus. Several fragments of the philosophy of Heraclitus reflect the expression of this unity that results from the joint presence of two dual principles. For example, the Eigth Fragment:

What opposes unites, and the finest attunement stems from things bearing in opposite directions, and all things come about by strife.

and also the Tenth Fragment:

Things grasped together: things whole, things not whole; being brought together, being separated; consonant, dissonant. Out of all things one thing, out of one thing all things.

Here we find the expression of dialectical monism , through the union of opposites . We see how the dialectic proceeds from the union of opposites : the consonant and dissonant . This dialectical approach that underpins the philosophy of Heraclitus is also illustrated in Fragment 51:

They do not understand how, while differing from it is in agreement with itself. There is a back turning connection, like that of a bow or a lyre.


Ambiguous images Arbitrary focus Bistable perception Complementarity relationship Conflict resolution Conflict resolution with matrices of concepts Conflict types relating to matrices of concepts Contrary relationship Dialectical contextualism Dialectical monism Dialectical monism in Aztec philosophy Dialectical monism in Heraclitus Dichotomic analysis Dichotomic analysis applied to paradox resolution Dichotomous reasoning Disqualification of one pole Disqualification of the positive Dualities Dual poles Extreme opposition General cognitive distortions Instance of one-sidedness bias Matrix of concepts Maximization Mental filter Minimization Bistable cognition Omission of the neutral One-sidedness bias One-sided viewpoint Opposition relationship Principle of dialectical indifference Requalification into the other pole Reference class Reference class problem Reference class problem in philosophical paradoxes Reference class problem in the Doomsday argument Reference class problem in Hempel’s paradox Reference class problem in the surprise examination paradox Selective abstraction Specific cognitive distortions System of taxa Two-sided viewpoint Viewpoint of a duality Viewpoint of a pole