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Symbol

(2,971 words)

Author(s): Bucher, Anton A. | Brown, Robert F. | Rudolph, Enno | Bürki, Bruno
1. Term “Symbol” (Gk. symbolon, Lat. symbolum) is a broad term with various senses and applications. Symbols are like signs in that they represent, or refer to, something that is other, or more, than themselves. The category of symbols is usually said to overlap that of signs. Some interpreters use the two terms almost interchangeably; others treat symbols as special kinds of signs with characteristics of their own. Still others seek to distinguish clearly between the two (Sign 1). Symbols and signs point beyond themselves. The conventional kind of sign usually has a singl…