The term symbol ( ancient Greek σύμβολον sýmbolon , identifier ') or symbol is generally used for carriers of meaning ( signs , words , objects, processes, etc.) that denote an idea (of something that need not be present). Which idea is actually meant by the word “symbol” is defined more precisely and in some cases very differently in the application areas.
Empirical research on symbols or symbols has - after controversial approaches in the Third Reich - not established at the university, but is mainly carried out on an interdisciplinary basis. Important research associations are Symbolon - Society for Scientific Symbol Research (1955) and the Swiss Society for Symbol Research (1983). Symbol research as a theory of signs is generally referred to as semiotics . Research into symbolic inscriptions , petroglyphs, and ideographic symbols is called epigraphy ; exploring symbolic images is part of iconography .
The German expression symbol goes back to the Latin symbolum from the Greek word σύμβολον sýmbolon with the meaning 'identification mark, mark or characteristic' (to συμβάλλειν symbállein ' bring together, compare'). The sýmbolon was a distinguishing feature with which two parties (guest friends, contractual partners ) wanted to ensure that they recognized each other or representatives of the other party. To do this, a bone or clay object was broken in two and each of the two partners received a fragment. When they met again, the legitimacy of those involved could be checked by bringing the parts together appropriately. This gave rise to the meanings “license plate”, “proof”, “contract”, “ID”, “password”, “ code ”.
Particularly significant for the history of words was the beginning of the Aristotelian treatise De interpretatione , where writing is defined as the “sýmbolon” of the spoken language and “what has come to language” as the “sýmbolon” of the “processes in the soul”.
The term symbol is used ambiguously and inconsistently. The symbols used by different authors, such as Ernst Cassirer , Jean Piaget or Charles S. Peirce and different sciences or branches of science differ greatly from one another. Sometimes contradicting things are denoted with the word.
For example, while in art didactics the concept of symbols is more likely to be derived from the understanding of symbols, Peirce's concept of symbols has established itself in the training of communication designers ( communication design that is closer to semiotics ).
Provisions in lexicons
In general lexicons , symbol is defined as
- “ Sign suggesting a deeper meaning , symbol; pictorial, vivid, effective sign for a term or process, often without any recognizable connection with it "(example: blue flower )
- "Symbol" (examples: Christian symbols; white dove as a symbol of peace)
- "Symbol that expresses the content of a presented object in its expressiveness"; in the narrower sense religious or cultic symbols
Symbol in the traditional view (especially as a symbol)
A symbol is understood to mean “generally a perceptible sign or symbol (object, action, process) that is representative of something imperceptible (including what is thought or believed).” In a narrower sense, “every character or graphic symbol with agreed or immediate meaningful meaning that is used for the abbreviated or pictorial identification and representation of a term, object, process, situation, for example. ”The symbol can be associated with a special connotation or indicate or express a deeper meaning.
The concept of symbol in Goethe
Goethe's theory of symbols was decisive for the romantic concept of symbol (and the resulting “symbol dispute”) . Goethe understood the symbol as a "unlocking force", "which is able to represent the general (and in general the particular) in particular" (example: light for spirit , knowledge , the divine ), and defined it as an irreducible sign in its infinite wealth of meaning from the rationally decipherable allegory : “The symbolism transforms the appearance into an idea, the idea into an image, and in such a way that the idea in the image always remains infinitely effective and unattainable and, even when pronounced in all languages, remains inexpressible. / Allegory transforms the appearance into a concept, the concept into a picture, but in such a way that the concept is still limited and complete in the picture, to be had and to be expressed in the same. / [...] It makes a big difference whether the poet seeks the particular in relation to the general or looks in the particular at the general. From that kind of allegory arises where the particular counts only as an example, as an example of the general; but the latter is actually the nature of poetry; it expresses something particular without thinking of the general or referring to it. Those who now grasp the particular in a lively manner also receive the general without being aware of it, or only late. "( Maximen und Reflexionen 749-751)
Symbol as a not purely conventional sign (de Saussure)
In Ferdinand de Saussure's linguistic terminology , the symbol is a “type of carrier of meaning” in which there is still a certain similarity between the shape of the sign and what it expresses , a “remnant of a natural connection”. With emphasis on the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign, he sets the symbol apart from the purely conventional sign in the narrower sense.
Symbol as a purely conventional sign (Peirce)
According to the terminology of the American semiotics and philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce , a sign is either an index , an icon or a symbol. In contrast to the continental European terminological tradition, the term symbol is defined as a purely conventional sign.
With Peirce the term symbol means something different than with Saussure, who distinguished the symbol from the purely conventional sign. Saussure's symbol roughly corresponds to Peirce's icon.
Symbol as a formal / formal sign
In technical terms, symbol denotes an abbreviated, conventional character with a clear, precise meaning (mathematical, chemical or logical symbol). One also speaks of formula symbols .
In formal descriptive languages or calculi, a symbol is a defined formal sign which has no meaning in terms of content or whose meaning is or can be disregarded.
The concept of symbol in Cassirer
In Ernst Cassirer's philosophy , the concept of symbol has a special meaning. For Cassirer, humans are an " animal symbolicum ", i. H. a being that creates and uses symbols. The human being can only relate to reality through symbols .
“For Ernst Cassirer, the symbol [...] denotes the union of the sensory (representative, sign) with the psychic (represented element) and includes all the facts of the representation ; A distinction is made here between three levels, depending on whether the representation takes place thanks to a natural or an artificial connection, or, on a middle level, thanks to a combination of the links of both orders, the artificial and the natural. "
Meanings in anthropology and psychoanalysis
As a key term, the symbol is particularly important in anthropology and psychoanalysis as an object of research. Symbols such as those found in religion , myth or art can often not be translated or interpreted in a purely rational way. They contain an excess of meaning: while the meaning of a traffic sign, for example, is precisely defined, the meaning of a religious, dreamed or mythological symbol exceeds the rational level and, beyond the cultural context, has an often intimate psychological meaning for the user, which is hardly clear without a well-founded method is recognizable. Attempts at interpretation with the help of, for example, dream interpretation make it possible to understand these symbols better.
The cultural anthropological symbol research is always reserved but constant interest; in the interdisciplinary context of art history, religious philosophy and psychoanalysis, it offers conclusive lines of argument for the interpretation of supra-individual symbols.
Leslie White saw in the symbol, the basic unit ( basic unit ) of all human behavior and of civilization ( civilization ).
The symbolic concept of Lacan
That a symbol is not to be understood in the sense of a condensation of meaning becomes clear in Jacques Lacan's description of the symbolization functions. According to Lacan, the psychic is organized through three registers that are mutually and indissolubly related. These are the three registers of the symbolic , the imaginary and the real . Lacan has shown their relationship to one another in the form of a knot. The Borromean knot is a central element in Lacan's teaching and serves to understand three possible organizations of the psyche within the framework of three psychological constitutions: neurosis , psychosis and perversion .
According to Lacan, every symbolic order also has a non-symbolizable remainder, which at the same time embodies the excess and the lack of the system. This non-integrable remainder is the “ Sinthom ”, the “symptom of desire”, which determines the system as a whole. The term symbol as a designation for an entity thus disappears. Lacan has also developed a number of other theorems related to the organization of signs, symbols, and discourse, which, in addition to psychoanalysis , are particularly relevant for cultural studies and cultural studies .
Symbols in different subject areas
In the philosophy or the aesthetics of a sign of recognition, simple in form, rich and deep in meaning. Not uncommon on monuments and tombs. Example: The “linden tree” in the song Am Brunnen in front of the gate by Franz Schubert / Wilhelm Müller . According to Dietrich Ritschl, symbols are “products of conscious, mature knowledge through representations in the form of words, actions or gestures. Symbols convey what cannot be articulated otherwise. ”This is countered by the thesis of psychoanalysis , represented in particular by Sigmund Freud , Jacques Lacan and Ernest Jones , that symbols are mainly structured in the unconscious , around the ego or consciousness in this non-verbal way to inform about the needs of the " it ". Diseases of the psyche (including the neurosis ) lead to a blurring of the otherwise spontaneously understandable symbolic message, its censorship or even complete repression , the reversal of which is feasible via the process of dream interpretation , according to Freud the "royal road into the unconscious ".
Walter Benjamin defines the symbol as the “ identity of the particular and the general” and sets it in opposition to the allegory : the allegory, on the other hand, marks the difference between the particular and the general.
All religions express core ideas in symbols, for example the wheel (as a symbol of eternal return), the cross (as a symbol of the suffering and death of Jesus , but also of reconciliation with God), the way (as a symbol of the history of life or the way of life ). The fish is a symbol of harvest, luck and fertility due to its high reproduction. At the time of the persecution of Christians, the fish was also used as a distinguishing mark and was used for communication between Christians.
In addition, there are symbols of faith in the Christian churches, these are creeds . This is derived from a subsidiary form of the Greek word sýmbolon, the symbólaion (Greek συμβόλαιο [ν] ): the contract, the agreement. These “Symbola” are to be understood as binding documents of faith (for example the Apostolicum and the Confessio Augustana ).
A number symbolism also permeates theological thinking, the basis of which is the three as the number of the trinity and the theological virtues, and the four as the number of the world. There are four times of day and seasons , cardinal points , elements, age , four Christian cardinal virtues (faith, love, hope, mercy), four rivers of paradise ( Euphrates , Tigris , Pison , Geon ), as men with water jugs, for example at the baptismal font Hildesheim Cathedral pictured. The great prophets and evangelists also appear in the number four . Three and four add up to seven and multiply twelve. The virtues , the deadly sins and the liberal arts ( artes liberales ) appear in the number seven, the months, the twelve tribes of Israel , the minor prophets and the disciples of Jesus appear in the twelve .
Religious symbols are constitutive elements of religious identification, language and actions. Paul Tillich pointed out that every “religious language” is essentially symbolic, because religion mostly refers to transcendence and thus transcends everything superficial ( i.e. immanence ).
Examples of religious symbols:
- Bahaitum : the nine-pointed star
- Buddhism : the eight-spoke wheel of teaching , international Buddhist flag , the swastika as a symbol of happiness
- Christianity : Alpha and Omega , Cross , Fish , Christ Monogram , Agnus Dei
- Hinduism : Om , Swastika
- Islam : crescent moon (The crescent moon and the five-pointed star are mistakenly used nowadays because Islam does not recognize such symbols.)
- Judaism : Star of David ( stomach David, the shield of David ), Menorah ( seven-armed candlestick)
For some Christians, baptism and the Lord's Supper are symbolic acts: they indicate the work of the transcendent God. For the majority of Christians, however, they are moments of “real” action by God. In a mysterious way (correspondingly in Greek the term “Mysterion”: mystery of faith ) the saving act of God is made present in the sacraments .
In mythology , as in religion , symbols are used that refer to transcendence . Their research is primarily concerned with depth psychology in the tradition of Carl Gustav Jung and comparative mythology. The research of mythologists such as Joseph Campbell , who interprets the symbols in religion and myth as inner and spiritual truths in contrast to historical facts and is one of the most important representatives of comparative mythology, is based in part on Jung's work . According to Campbell , the imagery of myth and religion itself does not contain absolute truth, but rather points to a truth beyond images, meanings, ideologies, theologies and concepts. In this respect, the mythical symbol is a tool to transform and expand consciousness with regard to transcendence. It is in contrast to the ideological or manipulative use of symbols, as can be observed in some areas in politics or religion.
In the literature
In literary theory , the concept of the symbol is used "in the sense of an object that relates to another object, but which also demands attention as an object itself, as a representation."
According to Wellek and Warren, the symbolism in individual literary works is to be understood as something calculated and wanted, as an intentional transfer of concepts into illustrated, sensual, educational, moral, transcendental or philosophical realities that lie beyond them.
While, according to Coleridge, an allegory is merely “a translation of abstract concepts into pictorial language, which mean nothing in itself, but is an abstraction of sensual objects”, he uses the symbol in literature “as a shining through of the species in the individual or the general in the species-like “characterized; for him this means above all the "shining through of the eternal through the temporal and in the temporal."
The main difference between the symbol in literature and an image or metaphor is that it appears repeatedly in the literary text with a certain "persistence" or constancy. In contrast, an image or a metaphor can only be used once; only if the pictorial image as a presentation or representation appears several times in the text with accentuated clarity does it become a symbol.
In analytical psychology , a distinction is made between symbols and signs : a symbol refers to the content of the personal or collective unconscious, a sign similar to a synonym or a metaphor to the content of the (collective) consciousness.
For example, the character Ω (Omega) in computer word processing programs is usually the short reference to “special characters” in a character set, so it has a clearly defined semiotic character function there. The same character, however, has a symbolic meaning in the pictorial representation of Alpha and Omega , in that it refers to an aspect of the Christian image of God that cannot be made fully conscious. But to refer to what is not entirely comprehensible here is the function of a living symbol (Jung): “As long as a symbol is alive, it is the expression of something that cannot be better identified in any other way. The symbol is only alive as long as it is pregnant with meaning. ”As Jolande Jacobi explains in her book on the psychology of CG Jung , a symbol (if it goes beyond purely personal meanings) refers to an archetype as a non-illustrative, but energetic core of meaning in the psyche . Because the (collective) unconscious by its nature can never fully enter consciousness, cannot become fully conscious, the content of a symbol can never be expressed rationally in words, Jacobi continues.
CG Jung defined living symbols as interface phenomena between consciousness and the unconscious: "Insofar as the symbol comes from the conscious as much as the unconscious, it is able to unite both, namely by virtue of its form, their ideal and, by virtue of its numinosity, their emotional opposition." That such an understanding of symbols does not only appear in analytical psychology, but also e.g. B. was fundamental to the spiritual Arabic alchemy, researched Theodor Abt . According to these concepts, symbols were not consciously devised (no pure products of consciousness), but rather “a piece of involuntary psychic activity” in the case of dream symbols and with the involvement of the unconscious.
To grasp a symbol intuitively in its depth is not given to a purely rationally oriented consciousness according to CG Jung. Because a possibility of understanding as a symbol "depends first of all on the attitude of the observing consciousness, for example an understanding that sees the given fact not only as such, but also as an expression of the unknown". So it can be that an object is a symbol for one person and just a sign for another. Symbols can also degenerate into signs, namely when they are reduced to a rational interpretation (“nothing but that”) in the consciousness of an individual or collective.
Friedrich W. Doucet remarks that a number of symbols are as old as language formation. In this context, Fred Poepping speaks of "primordial symbols". According to Poepping and others, the primordial symbols of mankind a. the cross, the snake, the triangle, the circle. Poepping interprets these symbols in their complexity against the background of developments in human history. (Pp. 50 f.) He explains that symbols are based on spiritual archetypes that can be perceived on three levels of consciousness. The old, myth-making consciousness still connected man to the world at the first stage. This consciousness has died out in the majority of mankind today. In its place has come the intellectual awareness of conceptual thinking, which emancipates people from the background of the world. The majority of mankind today is at this level. The third level is intended to allow the extinct picture experience of the mythical consciousness to re-emerge on a higher level of consciousness in the human mind.
All of the authors mentioned have in common the view that primordial symbols have a depth of interpretation that figuratively speaking extends from “right at the bottom” to “right at the top”. Which of these levels the viewer sees as current for himself depends on his consciousness.
In journalism and communication studies
A symbol is a function of signs in the context of communicative processes (other function: signal, e.g. traffic light). The symbol represents something, it represents the object to which it refers. Example: flag , symbol of the Olympic Games, etc.
The visual arts have used symbols from the earliest examples of cave painting to the present day. In sacred art, the symbolism follows the guidelines of religion and theology . Often there is a binding iconography , represented in posture, coloring, or attributes . In Christian art, for example, there is a binding canon of saints' attributes , in Buddhist art there is a color and shape of the units of the worldview (e.g. in the mandala ). Plants and animals are also used as symbols.
With classicism, allegories and myths of antiquity aroused the interest of artists again from the late 18th century . Symbolism based on these traditions gave symbolism its name in the second half of the 19th century . In the modern age and surrealism , however, the individual and free use of symbols takes the place of traditional image programs in the foreground.
In social science
According to the collective symbolism developed by Jürgen Link following Émile Durkheim , all members of a society have a supply of collective symbols. This gives them an archive of images with which everyone can get an overall picture of social reality or the political landscape. The analysis of collective symbolism plays an essential role in critical discourse theory .
In science and mathematics
The science used icons by reality is displayed in the form of symbolic representation. Ernst Cassirer interprets the entire field of human culture in the form of symbolic forms : In the sciences, too, work is carried out with sensual signs, which become the bearer of spiritual meanings and thus of meaning. Examples of this are mathematical formulas , structural formulas in chemistry , the representation of proteins as a sequence of letters from the abbreviations of the amino acids that make up them, technical drawings , programming languages or block diagrams .
Examples of political symbols:
- National flags
- the swastika as a symbol for National Socialism
- Hammer and sickle as a symbol of communism
- the turban and the sword of the Sikh as a public symbolic confession
- the Fez as a symbol of Islamic men (cf. the secular Fez ban in modern Turkey in the fight against the caliphate )
- the headscarf or the veil as a symbol of Islamic women, politically in some places converted from Islamism to a symbol of public commitment to orthodoxy and orthodoxy
- the color green , Mohammed's favorite color , stands for Islam and Islamic institutions, but the color is also used in many political circles (cf. the flag of revolutionary Libya )
- the color purple stands for the women's movement or for the Protestant church
- the Stella d'Italia as a symbol of Italy
- In many cases, religious symbols also become political: the cross is indeed the central religious symbol of Christianity , but has been shown politically in many cases (from the crusades to political freedom demonstrations in the Ukraine in 2004 ).
- A special form is the red cross on a white background (the color reversal of the Swiss coat of arms ) as a badge of the Red Cross , a non-governmental organization , in political depreciation from national flags, especially during war as a symbol of political neutrality.
Symbols as a guide
Symbols as language-independent pictograms for orientation can be found on all traffic routes and in public buildings, for example a crossed anchor in the harbor area that prohibits the mooring of ships, or a symbolic picket fence that indicates a restricted level crossing. In almost all public buildings, department stores, airports, train stations, etc., visitors who do not know the language will find the right toilet room through female or male symbolic figures. Such symbols are often the only orientation for illiterate people . In this example, the symbol inside a board is called the “mandatory sign”.
In business , symbols are particularly important in the success of brands . Examples are the McDonald’s "M", the Erdal -Frosch and the Mercedes star. Logographies are important symbols of corporate identity , the image of a company. But there are also general symbols, such as the statue to the symbol of market peace - the " Roland " - in German cities (today still in Bremen and Wedel , some abroad).
- Symbol (communications engineering)
- Circuit symbols (in electrotechnical drawings)
- Circuit symbols for fluid technology (hydraulics and pneumatics)
- Symbols for shape and position tolerances in technical drawing
- Special chart types
- Symbol (computer science)
Many professional groups use symbols from tradition or to create a recognition effect. The Aesculapian staff from around the third century BC indicates medical and pharmaceutical professions. The scales of Justitia represent jurisprudence. Mallets and irons symbolize mining. The impeller has a long tradition as a symbol of the railway. In some countries the police officer is known.
- Color symbolism
- Number symbolism
- Death symbolism
- Semiotic triangle
- Prongs (secret sign)
- Hieroglyphic writing
- Zodiac signs
- Genealogical signs
- Math symbol
- Symbolism (literature)
- Mintmaster's mark
- Wolfgang Bauer, Irmtraud Dümotz, Sergius Golowin: Lexicon of symbols. Myths, symbols and signs in culture, religion, art and everyday life. 8th edition. Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1995. ISBN 978-3453181045 .
- Udo Becker: Lexicon of symbols. Aira, Freiburg im Breisgau 2012, ISBN 978-3-95474-011-6 .
- Frauke Berndt, Heinz Drügh (Ed.): Symbol. Basic texts from aesthetics, poetics and cultural studies. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-518-29495-6 .
- Hans Biedermann: Knaur's Lexicon of Symbols , Directmedia Publishing , Berlin 2004, Electronic Resource CD-ROM, ISBN 3-89853-416-2 .
- Gertrud Blaschitz (Ed.): Symbols of everyday life, everyday life of symbols. Festschrift for Harry Kühnel on his 65th birthday. Graz 1992.
- Johanna J. Danis : The symbolic garment in the slide of time. Lectures. Edition Psychosymbolik, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-925350-78-0 .
- Umberto Eco : Introduction to Semiotics. 9th edition, UTB / Fink, Munich 2002, ISBN 978-3-8252-0105-0 / ISBN 3-7705-0633-2 .
- Sven Frotscher: 5000 signs and symbols of the world. Haupt, Bern 2006, ISBN 3-258-06802-X .
- Clare Gibson: signs and symbols. Origin, history, meaning. 2005, ISBN 3-8331-1496-7 .
- Gunda Hinrichs: The look inside. Iconological Paths to a Psychoanalytic Theory of Culture. Cultural anthropological foundations of a theory of the symbol. Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2015, ISBN 978-3-8260-5701-4
- Dirk Hülst : Symbol and sociological symbol theory. Opladen 1999, ISBN 3-8100-2045-1 .
- Carl Gustav Jung u. a .: Man and his symbols. 1968, ISBN 3-530-56501-6 .
- Marion Loh, Peter Godzik : Finding one's own life in pictures, texts and symbols . EB, Hamburg-Schenefeld 2006, ISBN 3-936912-48-3 .
- Manfred Lurker (Ed.): Dictionary of Symbolism (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 464). 5th, revised and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-520-46405-5 .
- Gerd Heinz-Mohr : Lexicon of symbols. 4th edition. Düsseldorf 1976.
- Winfried Nöth: Handbook of Semiotics. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2002, ISBN 3-476-01226-3 .
- Ingrid Riedel: Shapes: Depth psychological interpretation of circle, cross, triangle, square, spiral and mandala. Kreuz, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-7831-2070-5 .
- Klaus Semsch: symbol, symbolism. In: Historical Dictionary of Rhetoric , Tübingen 1992ff., Vol. 9 (2009), pp. 298–313. ISBN 3-484-68109-8 .
- Christoph Wilhelmi: Handbook of symbols in the fine arts of the 20th century. Safari near Ullstein, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-7934-1625-9 .
- Fred Poeppig: primal symbols of humanity. The coming , Freiburg im Breisgau 1972 .
- Marion Zerbst, Werner Kafka: Seemanns Lexicon of Symbols. Signs, writings, brands, signals. Seemann, Leipzig 2006, ISBN 978-3-86502-075-8 .
- SYMBOLON - Society for Scientific Symbol Research e. V.
- Symbol Grounding Problem on Scholarpedia
- Christian symbol lexicon
- Symbols in medicine (primarily viewed historically)
- Johann Hisch, “The FRAGARIA VESCA as theology of creation” or “Plants as symbols in religions” ( memento from January 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), as PDF
- Ἔστι μὲν οὖν τὰ ἐν τῇ φωνῇ τῶν ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ παθημάτων σύμβολα, καὶ τὰ γραφόμενα τῶν ἐν τῇ φωνῇ).
- Literature on Piaget's symbol concept: Hans G. Furth: Intelligence and recognition. The basics of Piaget's genetic epistemology. Suhrkamp 1986, ISBN 3-518-07760-0 .
- True, German dictionary / symbol
- Duden, German Universal Dictionary / Symbol
- dtv lexicon / symbol
- Schülerduden, philosophy. 2nd Edition. 2002, symbol.
- Homberger, Subject Dictionary for Linguistics (2000) / Symbol
- Hamburg edition, Vol. 12, pp. 470–471.
- fur: linguistics. 1996, p. 41.
- Mahmoudian: Sign. In: Martinet (Ed.): Linguistics. 1973, p. 258 f.
- F. de Saussure: Basic questions of general linguistics. 3. Edition. Berlin / New York 2001, p. 80: “With the symbol it is essential that it is never completely arbitrary; it is not without content, but to a certain extent there is a natural relationship between designation and what is designated . "
- Hadumod Bußmann (Ed.): Lexicon of Linguistics. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-520-45203-0 (symbol: "Formal signs ..., formal regulations (for example the simple → arrow (symbol)) and bracket conventions").
- Cf. Carls: characters. In: Ricken (Hrsg.): Lexicon of epistemology and metaphysics. 1984, p. 241.
- Leslie White: The Science of Culture. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, New York 1949, p. 22.
- Dietrich Ritschl: On the logic of theology. Munich 1984, p. 22.
- Walter Benjamin : Collected writings. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a. M. 1987, Vol. 1, ISBN 3-518-09832-2 , p. 352.
- Eckhard Bieger: The dictionary of images of Christian symbols , St. Benno, Leipzig o. J., S, 94f, ISBN 978-3-7462-3108-2
- The fish as a Christian symbol. Retrieved June 1, 2019 .
- Taking the crescent as a symbol. on: islam-qa.com
- René Wellek, Austin Warren: Theory of Literature . Athäneum Fischer Tischenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 1972, ISBN 3-8072-2005-4 , p. 201.
- Coleridge takes up Goethe's distinction between allegory and symbol. See ST Coleridge: The Stateman's Manual: Complete Works . Edited by William GT Shedd, Harper & Brothers, New York 1884, Vol. I, pp. 437f. Quoted from René Wellek, Austin Warren: Theory of Literature . Athäneum Fischer Tischenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 1972, ISBN 3-8072-2005-4 , p. 201.
- René Wellek, Austin Warren: Theory of Literature . Athäneum Fischer Tischenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 1972, ISBN 3-8072-2005-4 , pp. 201f.
- Friedrich W. Doucet: Psychoanalytic concepts. 5th edition. Munich 1972, p. 158. Carl Gustav Jung, GW 6, § 819: "Symbolic and semiotic meanings are very different things."
- Carl Gustav Jung, GW 6: § 821
- Jolande Jacobi: The psychology of CG Jung: An introduction to the complete work. 6th edition. Olten / Freiburg im Breisgau 1972, pp. 145ff.
- Carl Gustav Jung, GW 9/2: § 280.
- Theodor Abt (2011): The Book of Pictures. Mushat as-suwar by Zosimos of Panopolis. Edited with an Introduction by Theodor Abt. Living Human Heritage Publications, Zurich.
- CG Jung: On the essence of dreams, GW 8: 532
- Carl Gustav Jung, GW 6: § 823
- Jolande Jacobi: The psychology of CG Jung: An introduction to the complete work. 6th edition. Olten / Freiburg im Breisgau 1972, pp. 145ff.
- Fred Poepping: Primordial Symbols of Humanity. Freiburg i. Br. 1972.
- Elizabeth Haig: The floral symbolism of the great masters. London 1913.
- Sigrid Dittrich, Lothar Dittrich: Lexicon of animal symbols. Animals as symbols in painting from the 14th to 17th centuries. (2004) 2nd edition. Imhoff, Petersberg 2005 (= studies on international architecture and art history. Volume 22).
- See also Martin Voss: Symbolic forms. Basics and elements of a sociology of catastrophe. Transcript, Bielefeld 2006.
- Origin of the Swiss flag , on geschichte-schweiz.ch
- Landmarks / Protective Marks / Marks , on rotkreuzmuseum-berlin.drk.de, accessed on March 13, 2020
- Peter Croy: The signs and their language. Signs, symbols, signets. Frankfurt / Zurich 1972, p. 189 ff.