From Generative Anthropology
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Deferral is the effect of issuing a sign: the sign names, or "points to" the center which repels appropriation, temporarily staving off mimetic violence.


Deferral emerges on the Originary Scene when human beings collectively issue the originary sign, representing their hesitation from instinctually appropriating the central object of desire (the center), out of fear of incurring the aggression of the others in the group. The success of the originary sign in preventing the potential conflict compels the members of the group to preserve (make present) the center in future potentially violent situations through use of signs.

The first sign was a recognition of the "success" of this action and all subsequent sign use is a continuation of this deferral.


Deferral is only temporary; it does nothing more than make the imminent violence "imminently imminent."

Deferral is negative in that it is a kind of "stepping back" and observing while also being positive and creative because deferral gives us the space to see and hear something new.

It is a non-metaphysical and non-supernatural action that is unique to humanity.