Plato's Indeterminate Dyad

Although it is not often emphasized, Plato's unique contribution to philosophy was the introduction of the Indeterminate Dyad as a primary principle equal in importance to the One.  With all the talk about the One that may be heard in contemporary spiritual circles (for which Plato himself is partially responsible), and even in modern science, we believe that the oft-impugned principle of duality needs a champion. 

Research Mission

Plato's Indeterminate Dyad is nowhere to be found under this name in the Platonic dialogues, which at least partially accounts for its obscurity and somewhat humbled status in later philosophy, although it may be masquerading under the names "Limitless," "Other," etc., in those dialogues.  It is Aristotle who tells us that Plato gave it this designation in his more private teachings at the Academy.  Be that as it may, it is with the Dyad that Plato was able to solve the metaphysical problem of "how the many could be one, and the one many."  It is the operation of One on Dyad that generates the four Platonic realms of being, which have figured so largely in later philosophy and esotericism.  The Dyad may even supply us with the principle for "mathematizing" qualitative variation, since according to a later commentator, the Dyad "goes to the limitlessness of indeterminacy by means of intensification and relaxation," which is the distinguishing mark of quality in Athenian philosophy generally. 

It is our intention to work through the dialectic of One & Dyad, Same & Other, Limit & Limitless.  By this we do not wish to make dogmatic metaphysical assertions about these principles in the manner of later speculative philosophy.  Our dialectical exercises are simply directed at securing the Indeterminate Dyad as a first principle alongside the One.  We do, however, maintain that no one is entitled to assert the primacy of the One who has not overcome this dialectic.