Context: Non-dualistic thinking is an alternative to realism and constructivism. Problem: In the absence of a distinct definition of the term “description,” the question comes up of what exactly can be included in non-dualistic descriptions, and in how far the definition of this term affects the relation between theory and empirical practice. Furthermore, this paper is concerned with the question of whether non-dualism and dualism differ in their implications. Method: I provide a wider semantic framework for the term “description” by means of George Spencer Brown’s terminology in his calculus of indications as laid out in Laws of Form. The connection of descriptions and distinctions enables descriptions to comprise reflections and language as well as empirical observations. Results: Non-dualism can be thought of in different ways but still has essential elements in common with dualism. Implications: Non-dualism, as well as dualism, is an argumentation technique suitable for specific situations, but without significant differences in implications.
This paper is an exposition and extension of ideas begun in the work of G. SpencerBrown (Laws of Form). We discuss the relations between form and process, distinction and indication by the use of simple mathematical models. These models distill the essence of the ideas. They embody and articulate many concepts that could not otherwise be brought into view. The key to the approach is the use of imaginary Boolean values. These are the formal analogs of complex numbers – processes seen as timeless forms, then indicated (self-referentially) and re-entered into the discourse that engendered them. While the discussion in this paper is quite abstract, the ideas and models apply to a wide range of phenomena in mathematics, physics, linguistics, perception and thought.