Tertium non datur - Latin expression. Literally translates third is not given. But since Latin loves idioms as much as English, a better translation would be non-literal, i.e., there is no third option, or there is no alternative, or, by the comparable English idiom, take it or leave it.

The expression can be used in contract "negotiations": "Here's your contract, sign it as is or don't sign it at all."

It can also describe any kind of dilemma, when we seem to have to choose from two options, especially when we don't like either.

Further, it can express the Aristotelian attitude which has been shaping the Western mind for millennia: You can be good or evil, saint or sinner, friend or foe, strong or weak, smart or stupid, success or failure, right or wrong, after you die you either live forever or cease to exist altogether (i.e. eternalism vs. nihilism), etc, etc, etc.

Let me propose that tertium non datur is always a fallacy: Non tantum tertium sed quartum et quintum. ("Not only third, but fourth and fifth.") There always are many alternatives. We only fail to see them, or perhaps don't want to see them. But they always exist. And finding them is the only way to go.

Actually, this phrase is one of the bases of Western logic (and I mean logic as a branch of philosophy). It appeared first in 'De Logica', the Latin translation of Aristotle's 'Peri Logikes', or in English: 'On Logic'. And indeed it refers only to logic. This phrase was never used by Aristotle, or any other philospher, in any other context, neither moral nor any other.

In logic tertium non datur means simply that any given statement can be either true or false, and there is no other option, since it cannot be neither true nor false, and it cannot be both true and false.

What, might one ask, about the maybes, sometimes somewheres et cetera? well, in this case, all one needs is to expand his statement in order to include those maybes, sometimes, somewheres et cetera, and again the statement will be presented as either truth or fallacy, and a third (option) is not given.

This was a phrase coined by the Alchemist Dictum and often quoted by C.G. Jung. I must state that to the contrary there is a third option. It merely states that the 'third is not given' not that it doesn't exist. This is quite simply because it is for each of us to find individually. It is also not given because it is one of the great guarded secrets of Gnosticism. You give a lot of examples of the philosophy of duality. There are two ends of every spectrum, yes! But there is also a third position that is not given, it must be sought. This is triangle of completeness, the Holy Trinity, the center of the scale, the balance. It is literally the center point of all spectrum's. That which exist there, is the closest definition of God that can conceived. To attain this balance, is to become God-like, to achieve Gnosis!

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