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An opponent is someone who faces another in a fight or who rejects something. The fight can also be meant in a figurative sense, for example in sport ( competition ) or in politics (verbal warfare). Economic competition is also sometimes experienced as a struggle, and a competitor is referred to as an adversary.

The concept of the enemy is more the objective relationship to a person / group of people and not primarily describes the emotional component - in contrast to the concept of the enemy, enmity is the opposite of friendship . But an opponent of war can be one of the fighting parties. The same expression is also used for someone who turns against war . In sophisticated parlance, an opponent is also called an opponent or antagonist , especially in lengthy disputes about different objectives .

Opponents facing each other in battle

Opponents in the first sense ( adversaries ) seem to fight each other, but they also have common interests. Game theory examines possible actions and strategies of opponents . There are fights where the total profit is zero (zero-sum games) and those where the profit is not zero.

Even with bitter opposition, however, cooperation is possible and is applied. So fights are usually carried out according to certain rules.

Opponents who refuse something

Ultimately, opponents in the sense of rejecting certain conditions are also opponents who are opposed to another party. Opponents of air pollution do not face air pollution, but air polluters. Opponents in war face each other. Opponents of the war reject the war and thus oppose the warring parties and their politicians. Those who suffer from a struggle of other parties usually reject it.

Profit maximization

Both types of opponents try to win, they strive for an optimal strategy in order to get the maximum profit. In doing so, they try to prevent the other from achieving the maximum for their part. Often the achievable profit is smaller than if they worked together.

This is examined in great detail using the example of the prisoner's dilemma .

See also

Wiktionary: opponent  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Adversary  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. antagonist. In: Duden online. Retrieved July 16, 2015 .