DICHOTOMY (Gr. bLya, apart, TEµvew, to cut) , literally a cutting asunder, the technical
See also:term for a
See also:form of logical division, consisting in the separation of a genus into two
See also:species, one of which has and the other has not, a certain quality or attribute . Thus men may be thus divided into
See also:white men, and men who are not white; each of these may be subdivided similarly . On the principle of contradiction this division is both exhaustive and exclusive; there can be no overlapping, and no members of the
See also:original genus or the
See also:lower groups are omitted . This method of
See also:classification, though formally accurate, has slight value in the exact sciences, partly because at every step one of the two groups is merely negatively characterized and therefore incapable of real subdivision; it is 'useful, however, in setting forth clearly the gradual descent from the most inclusive genus (summum genus) through species to the lowest class (infima species), which is divisible only into individual persons or things . (See further DIVISION.) In astronomy the term is used for the aspect of the
See also:moon or of a
See also:planet when apparently
See also:half illuminated, so that its disk has the form of a semicircle .
EDWARD DICEY (1832– )
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