Within the framework of the Cognitive Sciences, the authors propose a shift from the main stream of research on opposition which, since the seventies, has focused on the study of antonyms as linguistic structures. A new approach which deals with contrariety as a perceptual structure has been developed by the authors over the last 10 years. The chapter focuses on two aspect of this broad research project, both concerning the putative dimensional structure underlying and connecting two contrary extremes (and somehow also implied in the model of the square). The first is a description of the internal structure of contrary properties in terms of phenomenological psychophysics and the second discusses the issue of whether contraries, from a cognitive point of view, lie on a common continuum. The proposal is introduced with a presentation of what we consider to be the elements which make Aristotle’s analysis of contrariety potentially interesting for cognitive scientists.
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