i once encountered a strain a thought that suggested that the world is made of opposites, and that they brought balance to the world.

however i completely disagree since their is no such things as opposites, their are just perceptions that humans make about reality. our minds categorize things and as a result we see things that are contrary to one another but you cannot say that they are truly opposites because opposite should cancel each other out creating nothingness.

yes matter and antimatter are thus not opposites. its just a names we gave them to describe properties they possesed.

yes hot and cold are not opposites they are perceptions of the human.

yes good and bad are nt opposites

yes… and so on.

anyone that disagrees should first try to understand that opposites here means something that cancels something else to its most intrisical nature existance. otherwise is not an opposite it just a difference on perception.

for example going north and going south could be seen as opposites but they are truly not because both are moving the difference is the observers position thus it is not a natural phenomena it is one created by the human/observer.

Is this like the square of opposition?

I’m all about the whole yes and no not being the same as yes and not yes. Not yes doesn’t necessarily imply no, but no does.

lol hopefully you get what i mean.

If you have two complete opposites they are the same in that they are opposite.


I would be skeptical about whether a physicist would agree with that. Natural kinds differ by definition because they are distinct from other kinds; because they are not like them. Even if we are to permit that “mammals” and “reptiles” are not ‘opposite’ per se - it does not mean that they are synonymous or interchangable. They are distinct; one cannot take the place of the other, and in this respect they are “opposite” - which is not dependant on human perception at all.

Perhaps a more specific analogy could be the antagonistic pairs of bicep and tricep muscles: they are opposite (and in this instance I mean: literally opposite) regardless of human perception. They are opposite by definition

would you say left and right are opposites?

There are quite a lot of opposites in the I-ching, male and female, and also in atoms, electricity runs between polarities and they [opposites] are in magnets etc

As far as I know the entire periodic table and inner sub-atomic particles are all made up of opposites, so that’s everything, no?

Positive, neutral [between] and negative, are the polarities of everything that exists as far as I know.

don’t know what the opposite of gravity is but there must be something.

Each has its equal and opposite ~ is the general law of attraction.

are they true opposites or are these just things with different qualities and biased towards the perceptin and desire to categorize things.

for example, left and right are opposites but are they true natural values or just a tol we use to label reality since of course my right might be your left. i would agree distance exists as a natural phenomena but distance doesnt have an opposite.

i would say energy is a natural phenomena but energy doesnt have an opposite.

Nothing to do with perception [I assume that’s what you meant], you can take the human mind right out of the equation. Positive and negative are as opposite as you can get, and all particles in the universe have either a positive, neutral or negative charge ~ in varying degrees.

Left and right are probably only opposites to us, though they have objective values for sides of a car or ship etc, but that’s a thing of our perspective and I agree our categorisation.

that’s because energy has a base value of zero and doesn’t exist until it is involved with other parties. That is to say that, mass contains energy [perhaps mass is its opposite? e=mc2!] and apart from periodic table elements etc, it doesn’t exist until something acts upon it, e.g. centrifugal force, or momentum, ~ they don’t exist until you swing a stone upon a string or press the accelerator pedal down in you car.

Probably not, no. Although I would say “left” and “not left” are opposites.

left and right is a simple analogy that can be expanded when it comes to charge you have to realize that chrge is a name for a condition and that an opposite charge just means that they behave differently, they are thus different in quality and are relative to one another. for example "neutral just means it doesnt act like positive and negative.

charge is a categorization, and positive and negative is just a label to refer to them, they are not really opposites because one does not negate another (if they interact they do not disappear.) afterall they are just energy. so there they are essentially the same thing.

nothing can have zero energy so there is not a real value of opposition to energy. (because -energy+energy= nothing.)

if i say everything is energy and energy has no opposites. how are opposites not biased on perseption and categorization?

Yet how do we qualify the particular; ‘behaves differently’ when difference itself proposes a duality. Positive and negative are opposite in every sense that the term means, let us not get caught up in the semantics here.
‘opposite’ is a quality we ascribe to things of a polarised nature, neutral is the midway point furthering that description. We thus have a midpoint and two things either side of that ~ definitively opposite!

They don’t negate one another because they are opposites! Though the polarities can be inverted and also become negative under the right circumstances. In fact in the periodic table it is the complexity of such that renders one element different to another, indeed if we strip electrons from one element to another we get a different element or compound, even lead can be turned into gold that way [though not efficiently], just as any element can be reduced to another.

The whole of existence is a play on opposites.

Right! Lets be clear, I assume you mean that ‘nothingness’ can have zero energy due to the bracketed. So we begin at base zero, but then energy e.g. in the beginning of universe, becomes polarised, or when in any instance difference is established ~ like when momentum etc occurs.
Point being that there is some facet or duality of reality which differentiates, and when that occurs we get opposites ?~ the elements and forces etc.
On a more semantic level, the I-Ching yin/yang etc, refers to said duality. As far as I know there is no explanation for this, we can only observe the effect.

Energy contains manifest opposites! …which are expressed in mass Vs energy e=mc2.

Our categorization compartmentalises such things for our own intuitive understanding of them, that is a human thing which reflects the actual reality ~ which otherwise exists regardless. We should not confuse our linguistic effort to categorise with the actual realities those things represent, that would be a mistake.


opposite only in a certain attribute they possess, they are the same in many ways. Midpoint here lacks sense since the point only refers to the opposite without the attributes that distiguish them. for example a neutron has no charge. the opposition is an specific quality that the human has concentrated on to distiguish one from the other and to try and give it order through categorization.

“only concepts have opposition.”

this is actually something i would use againt the notion of opposites, if they were true opposites then you wouldnt be able to change one into another because they would be opposites in every way possible. but this is never the case things are only opposite when we focus our attention on one of the qualities we are categorizing to order the mess that our brains experience.

by energy becomes polarized do you mean it moves in a different direction?

ying/yang? is that not good and evil? opposites on label really what is good for me can be bad for you.

energy vs mass? really the equation is not saying they are opposites where do you get that from?

not left? that could be up, or down or nowhere…

Yes this is true. But aslong as “~left” cannot be equivalent to “left” we can infer (somewhat indirectly) that there exists an opposite of that subject. The fact that such an “opposite” is not a specific entity (“right”) is contingent; the fact that there must be an opposite truth condition of “not left” is fundamental. Further, Aslong as we have A, we can infer (atleast in concept) a meaning of what ~A constitutes. Just because ~A might not exist, does not mean that it is not opposite to A.

And of course - in the grander scheme of things this means that: such distinction of categories are not dependent on the mind.

I’m curious to how you would respond to my bicep/tricep analogy?


“Opposite” refers to “in opposition to”, not merely “different than”.

Hello James,

To be “in opposition to” is to be “different than”, is it not?

They are not equivalent, no.

A vector to the left is in opposition to a vector to the right. And also they are different.

A vector to the left is NOT in opposition to a vector forward. But they are different.

well, the opposite of exist is not to exist yet is there something in the universe that doesnt exist?

my point being that opposites exist due to way in which humans categorize the universe not necessarily as an absolute natural circumstance.

“only concepts have opposition.”

a true opposite of something does not exist, it is a creation of the brain that in order to put things in order it focuses its attention to an specific trait present in an object.

for example your tricep/ bicep one is good example, they are both muscles, they are made of the same constituents, yet they have some differing qualities, the qualities differ (the concept) yet they are really the same thing.

the opposition is created when the human CHOOSES to focus its attention on a quality, this choice is determined by categorization.

so bicep tricep to me are not opposite but of differing function. (note: they have alot of similar functions.)

If you are going to say that “concepts of the mind do not exist”, then you cannot say that “opposites do not exist”.
In fact, you cannot say anything at all.
Existence itself is merely a “concept”.