Structuralism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "structuralism" (showing 1-8 of 8)
“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”

Terry Eagleton
“Lacan, as we have seen in our discussion of Freud, regards the unconscious as structured like a language. This is not only because it works by metaphor and metonymy: it is also because, like language itself for the post-structuralists, it is composed less of signs — stable meanings — than of signifiers. If you dream of a horse, it is not immediately obvious what this signifies: it may have many contradictory meanings, may be just one of a whole chain of signifiers with equally multiple meanings. The image of the horse, that is to say, is not a sign in Saussure’s sense - it does not have one determined signified tied neatly to its tail - but is a signifier which may be attached to many different signifieds, and which may itself bear the traces of the other signifiers which surround it. (I was not aware, when I wrote the above sentence, of the word-play involved in ‘horse’ and ‘tail’: one signifier interacted with another against my conscious intention.) The unconscious is just a continual movement and activity of signifiers, whose signifieds are often inaccessible to us because they are repressed. This is why Lacan speaks of the unconscious as a ‘sliding of the signified beneath the signifier’, as a constant fading and evaporation of meaning, a bizarre ‘modernist’ text which is almost unreadable and which will certainly never yield up its final secrets to interpretation.”
Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction

Jacques Derrida
“... the central signified, the original or transcendental signified, is never absolutely present outside a system of differences. The absence of the transcendental signified extends the domain and the interplay of signification ad infinitum.”
Jacques Derrida, Structure, Sign, and Play

Claude Calame
“What cannot be borne in reality, becomes a source of pleasure when it is transposed into the visual and somatic fiction of the dramatic spectacle.”
Claude Calame, Craft of Poetic Speech in Ancient Greece

Terry Eagleton
“The ‘healthy’ sign, for Barthes, is one which draws attention to its own arbitrariness—which does not try to palm itself off as ‘natural’ but which, in the very moment of conveying a meaning, communicates something of its own relative, artificial status as well. …Signs which pass themselves off as natural, which offer themselves as the only conceivable way of viewing the world, are by that token authoritarian and ideological. It is one of the functions of ideology to ‘naturalize’ social reality, to make it seem as innocent and unchangeable as Nature itself. Ideology seeks to convert culture into Nature, and the ‘natural’ sign is one of its weapons. Saluting a flag, or agreeing that Western democracy represents the true meaning of the word ‘freedom’, become the most obvious, spontaneous responses in the world. Ideology, in this sense, is a kind of contemporary mythology, a realm which has purged itself of ambiguity and alternative possibility.”
Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction

Ludwig Wittgenstein
“That of which we cannot speak, we must pass over in silence”
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

“This page is related to that page.

You're reading something constructed using a rhetorical practice, something informed both directly and indirectly by the entire history of composition up until this point, from the Sophists to Derrida. But you're navigating it using pure logical statements, using spans of text or images that, when clicked or selected, get other files and display them on your screen. The text is based in the rhetorical tradition; the links are based in the logical tradition; and somewhere in there is something worth figuring out.

...the entire history of Western pedagogy [is] an oscillation between these two traditions, between the tradition of rhetoric as a means for obtaining power — language as just a collection of interconnected signifiers co-relating, without a grounding in "truth," and the tradition of seeking truth, of searching for a fundamental, logical underpinning for the universe, using ideas like the platonic solids or Boolean logic, or tools like expert systems and particle accelerators ... what is the relationship between narratives and logic? What is sprezzatura for the web? Hell if I know. My way of figuring it all out is to build the system and write inside it, because I'm too dense to work out theories.”
Paul Ford