Dichotomy Meaning

What is Dichotomy:

Dichotomy, in general terms, is the division of an object or concept into two complementary but separate parts.

The word dichotomy derives from the Greek dichotomy which refers to dividing something into equal parts. It consists of the prefix dis- indicating two, the verb temnein which means to cut and the suffix -ía that imposes quality.

Among the synonyms for dichotomy are: separation, bifurcation, division, opposition, fragmentation, segmentation. Some antonyms for dichotomy are: union, junction, connection, ligation.

The dichotomy, in relation to thought or ideas, can be found in concepts that are apparently opposite but at the same time complementary, such as:

  • Dichotomy of heaven and hell: refers to the opposition of good and evil that exists simultaneously in human nature.
  • Mind and body dichotomy: humans are born with a mind and a body that despite being physically inseparable, it is possible to clearly distinguish the thought and invisible of the mind with the physical of our body.
  • Dichotomy between tension and relaxation: in a good sculpture of the human body, tension can be highlighted and, at the same time, the relaxation of the muscles to accentuate the realism.
  • Practical and theoretical dichotomy: in all disciplines, there are theoretical and practical knowledge, being different but inseparable, since each one contributes what is necessary for a global understanding.

The medical dichotomy refers to the practice in which the payment of a commission to the GP is made for the recommendation of a patient to a medical specialist or consultant.

In botany, dichotomy refers to the bifurcation of a branch or a stem.

In psychology, dichotomous thinking refers to a natural cognitive distortion that can go to pathological extremes. Dichotomous thinking is the tendency to classify or judge experiences in extremes, such as defining everything as good or bad, black or white, wicked or kind.

Saussure dichotomy

The Saussure dichotomy is a linguistic theory elaborated by the Swiss Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913). It stipulates language as a system, that is, each of its parts have value as they are part of a whole and are the opposition, in turn, of the other parts.

Some examples of this dichotomy are present in:

  • language and language, language being the natural faculty and language the system of signs used;
  • language and speech, speech being the act of realizing the faculty of language through language;
  • signifier and signified, where the signifier is the sign that is used to give meaning to the signified.

See also Linguistics.

Classic dichotomy

The classical dichotomy is a theory in the area of ​​economics that stipulates that the nominal and real variables can be analyzed separately. The nominal variable being the result that uses the prices at the time of measurement, without adjustments, and the real variable is the result of prices, taking into account the adjustments for inflation or variation.

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