Structure is a fundamental, tangible or intangible notion referring to the recognition, observation, nature, and permanence of patterns and relationships of entities. This notion may itself be an object, such as a built structure, or an attribute, such as the structure of society. From a child's verbal description of a snowflake, to the detailed scientific analysis of the properties of magnetic fields, the concept of structure is now often an essential foundation of nearly every mode of inquiry and discovery in science, philosophy, and art. In early 20th-century and earlier thought, form often plays a role comparable to that of structure in contemporary thought. The neo-Kantianism of Ernst Cassirer (cf. his Philosophy of Symbolic Forms, completed in 1929 and published in English translation in the 1950s) is sometimes regarded as a precursor of the later shift to structuralism and poststructuralism.
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Famous quotes containing the word structure:
“... the structure of our public morality crashed to earth. Above its grave a tombstone read, Be toleranteven of evil. Logically the next step would be to say to our commonwealths criminals, I disagree that its all right to rob and murder, but naturally I respect your opinion. Tolerance is only complacence when it makes no distinction between right and wrong.”
—Sarah Patton Boyle, U.S. civil rights activist and author. The Desegregated Heart, part 2, ch. 2 (1962)
“The syntactic component of a grammar must specify, for each sentence, a deep structure that determines its semantic interpretation and a surface structure that determines its phonetic interpretation.”
—Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)
“A special feature of the structure of our book is the monstrous but perfectly organic part that eavesdropping plays in it.”
—Vladimir Nabokov (18991977)