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indeterminacy

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ambiguity

ambiguity  

Having more than one meaning. The simplest case is lexical ambiguity, where a single term has two meanings. A sentence or grammatically complex construction can be ambiguous without any of the words ...
aporia

aporia  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
A serious perplexity or insoluble problem. The Socratic method of raising problems without providing solutions is sometimes called the aporetic method. Deconstruction is often credited with ...
bivalence

bivalence  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
In classical logic and generally, statements are either true or false, and must be one or the other. This is called the principle of bivalence. The principle also applies to ...
bright line

bright line  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Law
A clearly defined rule of law that means that a legal issue can be easily and objectively determined. Where there is no bright line, the law might be ambiguous and each case might turn on its own ...
closed forms

closed forms  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Media studies
The kinds of narratives that are self-contained and have a sense of structural (and arguably ideological) closure. The British cultural theorist Anthony Easthope (1939–99) argues that the masculine ...
context

context  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Law
The general principles of law found in legislation and case law (see precedent) are always applied locally, embedded in the facts of some individually situated case. The context in which ...
criminal damage

criminal damage  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Law
The offence of intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging any property belonging to another without a lawful excuse (Criminal Damage Act 1971 s 1). It is punishable by up to ten years' ...
deconstruction

deconstruction  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
An approach to the reading of literary and philosophical texts that casts doubt upon the possibility of finding in them a definitive meaning, and traces instead the multiplication (or ...
determinism

determinism  

The doctrine that every event has a cause. The usual explanation of this is that for every event, there is some antecedent state, related in such a way that it would break a law of nature for this ...
dissemination

dissemination  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
Deriving from a form of the Latin disseminare (‘to scatter seed’), the term ‘dissemination’ means, in connection with manuscripts, the distribution or circulation of copies of a particular work. See ...
freeplay

freeplay  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Media studies
[French jeu]A reference by Derrida (originally in the 1960s) to signifiers not being fixed to their signifieds but pointing beyond themselves to other signifiers in an ‘indefinite referral of ...
implied reader

implied reader  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
In Iser's phenomenological theory of reader-response, a hypothetical ‘role’ or ‘model’ of someone assumed by the author to share the knowledge necessary in order to fully understand the text, as ...
post-structuralism

post-structuralism  

[Th]A relativist philosophy based on the ideas and works of a number of French scholars working in the 1960s, notably Derrida, Lacan, Foucault, Barthes, and Kristeva, to develop earlier thinking by ...
reader-response theory

reader-response theory  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
A view of literary interpretation associated with the American critic Stanley Fish. It holds that meaning does not reside in the text, but in the mind of the reader. The text functions only as a ...
scriptible

scriptible  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
[scrip‐teebl]A term used by the French critic Roland Barthes in his book S/Z (1970), and usually translated as ‘writerly’. In contrast with the easily readable or ‘readerly’ text (textelisible), the ...
slippage of meaning

slippage of meaning  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Media studies
In contrast to the stability of the relationship between signifier and signified in Saussure's structuralist conception of language, as Lacan puts it, there is ‘an incessant sliding of the signified ...
umbra of power

umbra of power  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Law
(Latin umbra, shadow)The area that falls clearly within judicial power, about which there is no room for argument. Cf the penumbra, or grey area where there is some fuzziness ...
writerly

writerly  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Media studies
An English rendering of Barthes' use of the word scriptible. He applied the term to texts that he saw as (desirably) demanding of the reader: polysemic, intertextual, full of connotations, ...

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