Meaning of Antithesis

What is Antithesis:

The term antithesis indicates opposition or contradiction of two statements. It also refers to a person or thing that possesses opposite qualities or represents the opposite of another.

The word antithesis originates from the Greek αντίθεσις or antithesis which means "opposition" or "opposition", and is composed of the roots anti-, which expresses "against", and thesis, which means "placement or positioning."

For example, people tend to experience different antitheses throughout their lives and this is possible because they change their ideas or plans and can, from one moment to another and as a result of their experiences, change their way of thinking and they can contradict each other. By modifying the statements of the past.

Therefore, many of the antitheses can be generated based on various reflections that are made of the change of opinion and by the situations experienced, so the following expression fits, “what you say today is the antithesis of what you stated in the yesterday ”.

The antithesis can refer to a person or thing opposed in its conditions to another. In this sense, the antithesis can be observed, for example, among members of a family or couple, or among friends who, due to their relationship, should have a large number of similarities of ideas, reasoning, among others, but everything happens the opposite and the antithesis is generated.

For example: "They have been friends for years and always have opposite ideas, one likes white and the other black." Likewise, opposition to an idea, proposal, etc. may arise, such as, "Jessica is opposed to socialism."

The antithesis can be recognized because it is usually headed by expressions such as "but", "however" or "on the contrary", which expose contradiction or difference.

Antithesis as a rhetorical figure

Antithesis is a stylistic resource or literary figure that consists of the opposition of two phrases, phrases or verses in order to achieve a more effective expression.

That is, it is the opposition between two expressions or ideas. Its use allows the development of reason, from which the construction of knowledge follows. The antithesis should not be confused with the expressive devices of paradox and oxymoron.

For example: "Love is so short and oblivion is so long" (Pablo Neruda); “When I want to cry I don't cry and sometimes I cry without wanting to” (Rubén Darío); "You are like the Rose of Alexandria, which opens at night and closes during the day" (popular saying).

See also:

  • Oxymoron.
  • Literary figures.

Antithesis in philosophy

In philosophy, antithesis is used primarily to refute an idea, proposition, or thesis. In this case, the antithesis is a reasoning that contradicts the main thesis through the confrontation of arguments.

For this reason, the dialectic expresses that, as a consequence of the opposition between the thesis and the antithesis, the synthesis arises, in order to offer a different understanding of the subject in question. The Hegelian dialectic is in charge of investigating this issue.

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