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Alternative in the strict sense means the ability for decision between two mutually exclusive options for action or things, in terms of either-or Grant Decision. This definition is based on the Latin age - German: 'other (r / s)'. The noun alternative was borrowed from the French alternative in the 17th century . The original meaning was "alternating, forming another possibility"

In a broader sense , the term now also refers to one of several available options or a different one than the one previously envisaged. This happened through the influence of the English language and the further use of the term there.

Adjective alternative

The associated adjective is alternative . It has been documented since the 15th century, initially as a Latin adverb alternative and meaning "giving a choice between two possibilities, creating a second possibility". The current spelling as an alternative has been documented since the 18th century. Under the influence of French there was an expansion of the meaning in the sense of "optionally, leaving a choice between two or more possibilities".

The adjective alternative did not play a significant role in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the second half of the 20th century, however, the meaning of "competing with the existing standards" developed under the influence of American English and "another way of living representative, standing for life as a human and environmentally friendly forms of respected [together]" alternative as In this sense, people are part of an alternative movement .

Adjective without alternative

The adjective alternative meaning "no alternative Admitting no alternative bidder, no alternative" has been its use in political discourse - the alleged within the meaning of alternatives of a proposal or a procedure - from the German Language Society for word of the year named in 2010 . The jury leader and Germanist Horst Dieter Schlosser explains :

"The word suggests, factually inappropriately, that there are no alternatives from the outset in a decision-making process and therefore no need for discussion and argumentation."

Even in the run-up to the decision, Schlosser saw no alternative as "the 'Basta' of the Merkel government" and compared the choice of words of the incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel with that of her predecessor Gerhard Schröder .

The political scientist Herfried Münkler commented on this, and with reference to the term deliberation , as early as 2009:

“[...] what is communicated with the lack of alternatives [:] That is the presentation of practical constraints and time pressure, because in principle there is nothing else left than to act as one does. But that actually contradicts the basic principles of politics and democracy, namely to deliberate in order to then make a decision on the basis of thinking, reflecting, and considering alternatives. "

Philosophy of science

In terms of philosophy of science, reference should be made at this point to Karl Popper , who emphasizes that a hypothetical factual context cannot be “ proven ”; B. not through a lack of alternatives, but that the hypothesis can only be " falsified " in this case , through a concrete experiment.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Alternative  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Mackensen - Large German Dictionary , 1977, limited to "Choice between 2 options [...] decision, either-or"
  2. Duden-Online: Entries on alternative and alternate .
  3. ^ According to Duden "Etymologie" - dictionary of origin of the German language , 2nd edition, Dudenverlag, 1989.
  4. Kluge Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , 24th edition, 2002.
  5. ^ Definition based on Brockhaus 1960 and Duden "Etymologie" - dictionary of origin of the German language , 2nd edition, Dudenverlag, 1989 and Duden spelling of the German language , 21st edition, Dudenverlag, 1996 here literally "Decision between two [or more] possibilities ; Possibility of choosing between two [or more] things; one of two or more possibilities ”.
  6. ^ According to Kluge Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , 24th edition, 2002.
  7. "18. Century "+ definition according to Duden" Etymology "- dictionary of origins of the German language , 2nd edition, Dudenverlag, 1989. On the expansion of meaning cf. Kluge, there “expansion of use”.
  8. ^ Definition according to Kluge Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , 24th edition, 2002.
  9. ^ Definition according to Duden “Etymologie” - dictionary of origin of the German language , 2nd edition, Dudenverlag, 1989.
  10. alternativlos in, accessed on December 3, 2011.
  11. Quoted from, online under “Alternative without” is the bad word of the year ( memento from January 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) , accessed on December 1, 2011.
  12. Quoted after " without alternatives" is the best seller , a dpa report from December 2010, online see,1472660 , 4780402.html ( Memento of September 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) , accessed December 5, 2011.
  13. Quoted from an interview on Deutschlandfunk , February 26, 2009, online see [1] , accessed on April 14, 2018.