The Tetralemma and Semiotic Square

The Tetralemma is a list that is supposed to exhaust all logical possibilities. Something is either X, or not X, or both X and not X, or neither X nor not X. Nagarjuna’s Fourfold Negation expresses a paradox by negating the Tetralemma, and asking what is not X, nor not X, nor both X and not X, nor neither X nor not X.

The Semiotic Square is an analytical tool to explore relationships between two semiotic signs, usually considered opposites of each other. The S1 and S2 in the figure are the signs in opposition, so that S2 is the dual of S1. S1+~S2 (S1 and not S2) would be X, ~S1+S2 would be not X, S1+S2 would be both X and not X, and ~S1+~S2 would be neither X nor not X.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralemma

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotic_square

[*4.84, *5.182]

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2 Responses to “The Tetralemma and Semiotic Square”

  1. The Square of Opposition « Equivalent eXchange Says:

    […] Compare and contrast the Square of Opposition to the Tetralemma and the Semiotic Square. […]

  2. The Semiotic Square | Equivalent eXchange Says:

    […] an earlier post I combined an unusual representation of the semiotic square with that of the Tetralemma. Please use […]

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