Cohen, T. (2018). The Dyad as a Centerless Structure: A Philosophical, Sociological and Psychoanalytic Study. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 52 (4), pp 546–564.
This paper attempts to elucidate the phenomenological experience produced in the dyad from a structural perspective. It proposes to regard the dyadic configuration as a “centerless structure”, containing the highest potential for actualization as “free play”, both in a negative sense and a positive one. In the first part of the paper, the author uses Wittgenstein’s “family- resemblances” method, to illustrate how the descriptions given to diverse dyadic relations in different domains and disciplines, share similarities and closeness with two main types of dyadic relations: a “synonymy relation” based on a common sense of similarity and likeness and an “antonymy relation” characterized by dominant and complementary relations. Although the two types of relations reflect through additional social forms, the author proposes that what is unique to the dyad structure is the repetitive movement that takes place, back and forth, between them. It indicates a lack of structural function that can organize, regulate and balance the intersubjective space. In the second part of the paper, inspired by Derrida and Simmel (Derrida, 1966; Simmel, 1950), the author suggests that the dyadic configuration struggles to produce a structured, stable center of meaning, and therefore it encourages the structure’s free play potential.