Ludovic Chatenet

Versus: between opposition and transformation

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Opposition; Transformation; Semiotics; Anthropology; Dynamics.

In this paper we will explore the principle of opposition "versus" as a dynamic model for the structure of the mind. The rise of opposition in linguistics (Saussure, Jakobson) allowed the study of meaning as a system of values and later the depiction of culture as a system of positions that control and generate meaning (Lévi-Strauss, Greimas). Even if this approach is associated with a static overview, we will remind that the principle of opposition represented by versus articulates two opposites terms and generates meaning based on a relation of transformation already established by Lévi-Strauss; therefore, it contains a dynamic potential. In this respect, we will reintroduce Thom's concepts that helped Petitot to demonstrate that the semiotics square is built from dynamic relations. From this perspective, versus can be seen as a dynamic of attraction, that is, a principle that organizes the human mind showing that men need otherness to build and transform their worlds.

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