Opposites beget opposites

Plato has a few artuments to try to demonstrate the nature of the mind. One of which, in the Phaedo appeals to the fact that we find from one state, it follows a contrary state; or to put it bluntly, that an opposite begets an opposite. After youth comes aging, after light comes day and after life comes death.

The appeal to the immortality of the soul is that like night and day, we find a repetition once a cycle is completed. A day is followed by a night, and a day follows that. It striked me that some people have a similar belief about the original homeopathic programme during the 18tC. What is to note in both notions of the eternity of the soul and homeopathy is that both beliefs are an appeal to a metaphysical thesis.

While metaphysics has a place in our beliefs and understanding about the world; it is far from this kind of direct appeal. The issues of metaphysics rather, emerge from our conduct of empirical studies. Once one has appropriated research about the natural world, metaphysical theories seem better placed to appropriate said research: do theoretical entities exist? for instance. Is there a unity in the body of knowledge of science?

It is a deceptively simple notion that opposites beget opposites, and often the arguement concerning the existence of the soul drag us to very thorny metaphysical territory. The applicability of such a claim of opposites begetting opposites seems far to vague to constitute a thesis. Does one make a claim about the eternal reoccurence from Plato’s claim? Is one to justify vaccinations? Or is one to justify the rationality of their belief in the earth’s rotation on that basis. This simplistic belief seems prima facie correct.

I’m not sure how knowledge of antibodies (in the vaccination case) or universal gravitation apply. It is said that the simplest explanation is the best one; but simple in this sense is different to naive.


One thought on “Opposites beget opposites

  1. Taoist wisdom encapsulated this long before Plato. The dynamic interplay of opposites is the constant movement of existence, in the mind, in nature and at the quantum level. Each state of being is evolving gradually into its contrasting opposite, and each contains the seed of the other, even in the darkest yin or brightest yang.

    I think in homeopathy the term is “like cures like”. The traditional naturopathic/homeopathic veiwpoint is that nature (and therefore the human being) has a cyclical nature and that these recurring ebbs and flows are to be observed, honoured and encouraged. The early naturopaths and homeopathic doctors were frequently theosophists or rosicrucians – spiritual paths that encourage an enquiring and open mind.

    Empirical studies addressing questions raised by vibrational medicine or the search for the soul are often hampered by an inability to measure or quantify these patterns of renewal, flux and decomposition. They simply don’t compute – and the familiar double blind random trial of patients isnt taking into account the season, phase of the moon, point of menstrual cycle etc.. of each patient. Vibrational and nautropathic therapies such as homeopathy need to be measured in these terms, not ones ascribed to them by a mainstream allopathic model.

    As for vaccination, it is not always effective. It is however a useful prophylactic in some disease, and has been powerful in treating some horrific illnesses over the last century.

    Fractal geometry seems to come close to predicting patterns in nature. This may be of some use in the future.

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