Re: Otherness

Matthew S. Tomaso (Tomaso@MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU)
Fri, 13 Oct 1995 23:25:07 -0500

Edwina Taborsky's paragraph on anthropology, Lacanian psychology and
philosophical approaches to oppositional identities was a nice summary, with
which I mostly agree, but there are a few points which might benefit from
I see binary opposition (dualizing very different from dichotomizing which
would be biPOLAR opposition) as a necessary methodological step in the
interpretation of systems (webs, or, ore recently, pools) of meaning (or
discourse, concepts, things etc).
The problem seems to be in the connotations which 'opposition' drags into
all of this. Opposition, in my mind, does not imply absolutely fixed
opposing position, but rather, contrast. Thus, when Saussure says "in
language (langue) there is only difference," he means contrast.
Matt Tomaso.
Anthropology. University of Texas at Austin.
Phone/Fax 512-453-6256