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Encyclopedia > Dichotomy

A dichotomy is a division into two non-overlapping or mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive parts. They are often contrasting and spoken of as "opposites". The term comes from dichotomos (divided): dich- ([in] two) temnein (to cut).

• The above applies directly when the term is used in mathematics, philosophy or linguistics. For example, if there is a concept A, and it is split into parts B and not-B, then they form a dichotomy. They are mutually exclusive, since nothing is contained in both of them. And they are jointly exhaustive, since both together again give A.
• A false dichotomy is not jointly exhaustive or not mutually exclusive. It is a logical fallacy, usually in which two entities are presented as if they are exhaustive, when in fact other alternatives are possible. In some cases, they may be presented as if they are mutually exclusive although there is a broad middle ground.
• Dichotomies are common in Western thought. C.P. Snow believes that Western society has become an argument culture. In The Argument Culture (1998), Deborah Tannen suggests that the dialogue of Western culture is characterized by a warlike atmosphere in which the winning side has truth (like a trophy). In such a dialogue, the middle alternatives are virtually ignored.
• In monetary economics, a special branch of economics dealing with money and the financial system of a country, the classical dichotomy is the division between real money, which is measured in physical terms and is usually supposed to be a better indicator of money value due to its stability, and nominal money, which is measured in terms of a currency and hence is susceptible to inflation. According to Milton Friedman, who is commonly referred to as the father of monetary economics, different forces influence real and nominal variables (money value here) and changes in the money supply affect nominal variables but not real variables. This irrelevance of monetary changes for real variables is called monetary neutrality.
• In set theory, a dichotomous relation R is such that either aRb, bRa or both.
• In biology, a dichotomy is a division of organisms into two groups, typically based on a characteristic present in one group and absent in the other. Such dichotomies are used as part of the process of identifying species, as part of a dichotomous key, which asks a series of questions, each of which narrows down the set of organisms. A well known dichotomy is the question "does it have a backbone?", used to divide species into vertebrates and invertebrates.
• In Botony, A dichotomy is a mode of branching by repeated bifurcation. Thus a focus on branching rather than division.
• In computer science, more specifically programming language engineering, the term dichotomy is used to denote fundamental dualities in a language's design. For instance, C++ has a dichotomy in its memory model (heap versus stack), whereas Java has a dichotomy in its type system (classes versus primitive data types).

Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Mathematics Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Mathematics Look up Mathematics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikimedia Commons has more media related to: Mathematics Bogomolny, Alexander: Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles. ... Philosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. ... Broadly conceived, linguistics is the scientific study of human language, and a linguist is someone who engages in this study. ... The logical fallacy of false dilemma, also known as fallacy of the excluded middle, false dichotomy, either/or dilemma or bifurcation, is to set up two alternative points of view as if they were the only options, when they are not. ... C. P. Snow, born Charles Percy Snow, (1905-1980) was a scientist and novelist. ... Deborah Tannen (born June 7, 1951) is a professor of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. ... Central Bank or Finance Ministry based economics where the interest rate plays a pivotal role in the cost of money and the amounts banks must hold in their reserves. ... U.S. Economic Calendar Economics at the Open Directory Project Economics textbooks on Wikibooks The Economists Economics A-Z Institutions and organizations Bureau of Labor Statistics - from the American Labor Department Center for Economic and Policy Research (USA) National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) - Economics material from the organization... Nominal money, in economics, is the quantity of money measured in a particular currency, and is directly proportional to the price level. ... Milton Friedman Milton Friedman (born July 31, 1912) is a U.S. economist, known primarily for his work on macroeconomics and for his advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism. ... Set theory is the mathematical theory of sets, which represent collections of abstract objects. ... Main articles: Life All organisms (viruses not included) consist of cells, which in turn, are based on a common carbon-based biochemistry. ... An identification key, also known as a dichotomous key, is a method of deducing the correct species assigment of a living thing. ... Groups Conodonta Hyperoartia Petromyzontidae (lampreys) Pteraspidomorphi (early jawless fish) Thelodonti Anaspida Cephalaspidomorphi (early jawless fish) Galeaspida Pituriaspida Osteostraci Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) Placodermi Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish) Acanthodii Osteichthyes (bony fish) Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) Actinistia (coelacanths) Dipnoi (lungfish) Tetrapoda Amphibia Amniota Sauropsida/(Reptiles) Aves (Birds) Synapsida Mammalia... Invertebrate is a term coined by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck to describe any animal without a spinal column. ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Computer Science Open Directory Project: Computer Science Downloadable Science and Computer Science books Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies Belief that title science in computer science is inappropriate nacho Categories: Computer science ...

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## See also

The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a two fold division. ...

## External link

• Dichotomy analysis

Results from FactBites:

 Dichotomy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (406 words) In biology, a dichotomy is a division of organisms into two groups, typically based on a characteristic present in one group and absent in the other. Such dichotomies are used as part of the process of identifying species, as part of a dichotomous key, which asks a series of questions, each of which narrows down the set of organisms. In botany, a dichotomy is a mode of branching by repeated bifurcation.
 Dichotomy - definition of Dichotomy in Encyclopedia (154 words) In biology, a dichotomy is a distribution of genera into two species. Such dichotomies are used as part of the process of classifying species, to build a taxonomic key. A false dichotomy is not jointly exhaustive or not mutually exclusive.
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