Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday March 17, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:07 AM
Deep Structures

The traditional 'Square of Opposition'

The Square of Oppositon
at Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy

The Square of Opposition diagram in its earliest known form

The Square of Opposition
in its original form

"The diagram above is from a ninth century manuscript of Apuleius' commentary on Aristotle's Perihermaneias, probably one of the oldest surviving pictures of the square."

Edward Buckner at The Logic Museum

From the webpage "Semiotics for Beginners: Paradigmatic Analysis," by Daniel Chandler:

The Semiotic Square of Greimas

The Semiotic Square

"The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the 'logical square' of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully (Greimas 1987,* xiv, 49). The semiotic square is intended to map the logical conjunctions and disjunctions relating key semantic features in a text. Fredric Jameson notes that 'the entire mechanism… is capable of generating at least ten conceivable positions out of a rudimentary binary opposition' (in Greimas 1987,* xiv). Whilst this suggests that the possibilities for signification in a semiotic system are richer than the either/or of binary logic, but that [sic] they are nevertheless subject to 'semiotic constraints' – 'deep structures' providing basic axes of signification."

* Greimas, Algirdas (1987): On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory (trans. Paul J Perron & Frank H Collins). London: Frances Pinter

Another version of the semiotic square:

Rosalind Krauss's version of the semiotic square, which she calls the Klein group

Krauss says that her figure "is, of course, a Klein Group."

Here is a more explicit figure representing the Klein group:

The Klein Four-Group, illustration by Steven H. Cullinane

There is also the logical
    diamond of opposition

The Diamond of Opposition (figure from Wikipedia)

A semiotic (as opposed to logical)
diamond has been used to illustrate
remarks by Fredric Jameson,
 a Marxist literary theorist:

"Introduction to Algirdas Greimas, Module on the Semiotic Square," by Dino Felluga at Purdue University–

The semiotic square has proven to be an influential concept not only in narrative theory but in the ideological criticism of Fredric Jameson, who uses the square as "a virtual map of conceptual closure, or better still, of the closure of ideology itself" ("Foreword"* xv). (For more on Jameson, see the [Purdue University] Jameson module on ideology.)

Greimas' schema is useful since it illustrates the full complexity of any given semantic term (seme). Greimas points out that any given seme entails its opposite or "contrary." "Life" (s1) for example is understood in relation to its contrary, "death" (s2). Rather than rest at this simple binary opposition (S), however, Greimas points out that the opposition, "life" and "death," suggests what Greimas terms a contradictory pair (-S), i.e., "not-life" (-s1) and "not-death" (-s2). We would therefore be left with the following semiotic square (Fig. 1):

A semiotic 'diamond of opposition'

As Jameson explains in the Foreword to Greimas' On Meaning, "-s1 and -s2"—which in this example are taken up by "not-death" and "not-life"—"are the simple negatives of the two dominant terms, but include far more than either: thus 'nonwhite' includes more than 'black,' 'nonmale' more than 'female'" (xiv); in our example, not-life would include more than merely death and not-death more than life.

* Jameson, Fredric. "Foreword." On Meaning: Selected Writings in Semiotic Theory. By Algirdas Greimas. Trans. Paul J. Perron and Frank H. Collins. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1976.

"The Game in the Ship cannot be approached as a job, a vocation, a career, or a recreation. To the contrary, it is Life and Death itself at work there. In the Inner Game, we call the Game Dhum Welur, the Mind of God."

The Gameplayers of Zan, by M.A. Foster

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."
— Thomas Pynchon,
 Gravity's Rainbow

Crosses used by semioticians
to baffle their opponents
are illustrated above.

Some other kinds of crosses,
and another kind of opponent:

Monday, July 11, 2005

for St. Benedict's Day

Click on either of the logos below for religious meditations– on the left, a Jewish meditation from the Conference of Catholic Bishops; on the right, an Aryan meditation from Stormfront.org.

Logo of Conference of Catholic Bishops     Logo of Stormfront website

Both logos represent different embodiments of the "story theory" of truth, as opposed to the "diamond theory" of truth.  Both logos claim, in their own ways, to represent the eternal Logos of the Christian religion.  I personally prefer the "diamond theory" of truth, represented by the logo below.

Illustration of the 2x2 case of the diamond theorem

See also the previous entry
(below) and the entries
  of 7/11, 2003.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

and Narrative

Click on the title
for a narrative about

Nikolaos K. Artemiadis

Nikolaos K. Artemiadis,
 (co-) author of

Artemiadis's 'History of Mathematics,' published by the American Mathematical Society

From Artemiadis's website:
1986: Elected Regular Member
of the Academy of Athens
1999: Vice President
of the Academy of Athens
2000: President
of the Academy of Athens
Seal of the American Mathematical Society with picture of Plato's Academy

"First of all, I'd like to
   thank the Academy…"

— Remark attributed to Plato

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress