The etymological path of the term antithesis It starts in late Latin (antithĕsis) and then go to Greek (antithesis) before reaching our language. A Greek word is that it is the result of the sum of several clearly defined elements such as these:
-The prefix “anti-”, which can be translated as “opposite”.
-The term "tithemi", which is equivalent to "I put".
-The suffix "-sis", which is synonymous with "action."
The first meaning mentioned in the dictionary of Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ) make reference to that which, due to its characteristics or conditions, is totally opposed to something else .
For example: "Ricardo is the antithesis of Juana: he is quiet and withdrawn, while she is talking and socializing all day", "The political project of the opposition is the antithesis of the model that we have been developing successfully nationwide for more than a decade", “The actions of the police in this case constitute the antithesis of what the procedures indicate”.
It must be established that one of the most important phrases of how many have become part of the rhetoric is precisely a perfect example of what the antithesis is. We are referring to the one pronounced by Neil Amstrong when in 1969 he arrived on the Moon: "This is a small step for man, but a great step for humanity."
However, there are many other examples of antithesis also well known as these verses of renowned writers:
- “When I want to cry, I don't cry, and sometimes I cry without wanting to” (Rubén Darío).
- "Love is so short and forgetting is so long" (Pablo Neruda).
- "You are like the rose of Alexandria, red at night, white by day" (Lope de Vega).
In the plane of the rhetoric and of the philosophy , the antithesis is the opposition that exists between two expressions or judgments . Its use allows the development of the dialectic that derives in the construction of knowledge.
Within this framework, we find a proposition, a conception or a discourse that constitutes the thesis . It is an affirmation that, in some way, is justified or demonstrated. The antithesis is the contrary reasoning : proposes something that contradicts the thesis, confronting its arguments. The dialectic indicates that, after the opposition between the thesis and the antithesis, a new look emerges that condenses in the synthesis . This third proposition (the synthesis) represents a different understanding of the subject matter.
A example Simplified process is as follows: "Dogs are black" (thesis) / "However, yesterday I saw a white dog" (antithesis) / "There are black dogs and white dogs" (synthesis).
Within what is the scope of philosophy we can underline that the use of the antithesis and of this in itself has a series of particularities. Specifically, among them we can highlight the following:
-Its use can be understood because it, in a clear and forceful way, can be used to undertake a rebuttal.
-Also, it should be borne in mind that, as a general rule, the antithesis used in this case are preceded by expressions such as "however", "nonetheless" or "but", among others.