Plato’s Republic contains many examples of “Duality”. The most striking, philosophically speaking, is Plato’s assertion about the existence of two worlds. The originality in the concept of the duality and existence of two worlds was in the development of his theory of the Forms.
Plato describes in his Republic the existence of two parallel worlds. The first world is a reliable eternal world where nothing changes. And the second world in his view, our physical world, is a world in a state of constant change and therefore unreliable.
Plato distinguishes between a sensible perceptible visible world (our world) and an intelligible (real) world. In the physical world in which we live, we perceive and understand with our sesnses. Here, all objects are mere imitations or illusions. We cannot be satisfied in this world because it is not real. Therefore Plato argues, we must look into the second world which is the intelligible world, where everything is real, constant and everlasting. This is the world of the ideal true Forms. For Plato, this world is the world of good beauty and truth. And this world can not be understood by the senses only by reason.
This is a perfect example of duality which by definition is the existence of two opposing parts, that sometimes have opposite meanings, as in the reliable and unreliable worlds of Plato. Plato uses many more examples of duality in his Republic. In Book I, for example, the reader is introduced to a debate about wealth justice moderation and their opposites.
We should also remember that the word duality also refers to Plato’s belief about the body and mind being two separate entities. Obviously, body and mind oppose each other.
Also, read the related Blog posts as follows: Plato Totalitarian Plato’s Academia, Plato and Justice, Plato’s Imitation Theory, The Republic Lead subjects, Plato’s Regimes, Art as Imitation, Duality in Plato’s Republic, Plato and Art, Dystopia Connotations, Utopia Connotations, What is Utopia, Plato’s Republic, Who was Plato, Plato’s Visual Utopia book
Featured image artwork, “Two Worlds” – Illustration by Daniel Heller.