What does Antithesis Mean?

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

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

For example, people tend to experience various antithesis throughout their lives and this is possible because they change their ideas or plans and may, from one moment to another and as a consequence of their experiences, change their thinking and can contradict each other. by modifying the claims of the past.

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

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

For example: “They have years of friendship 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 contrast 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, which follows the construction of knowledge. The antithesis should not be confused with the expressive resources of paradox and oxymoron.

For example: “Love is so short and forgetting 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 by day” (popular saying).

Antithesis in philosophy

In philosophy, the antithesis is mainly used 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.

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