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Holding On to RealityThe Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium$
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Albert Borgmann

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780226066257

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 18 February 2020

Basic Structures

Basic Structures

Chapter:
(p.141) Chapter Twelve Basic Structures
Source:
Holding On to Reality
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.003.0013

The most basic structure of all seems to be a division, and it appears to be based on the principle of generation, a distinction when made by the mind, a difference when found in reality. A more sober and secular version of division was developed early in the twentieth century by the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, who took the idea of difference to be necessary and sufficient for the structure of language. The fundamental device that provides for the transition from structure to matter is the transistor and the favored material to materialize the structures is silicon. The sense of wholeness and intimacy that early computer users felt was that the technological information seemed to recapitulate ancestral information.

Keywords:   basic structure, division, Ferdinand de Saussure, language, computer users

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