Author Topic: spectral whole  (Read 3593 times)

Sealchan

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spectral whole
« on: January 21, 2008, 06:13:21 PM »
The spectral whole is the idea that you can take a physical aspect of the world (visible light) and break it up into a finite list of qualities or parts (colors).  These qualities are best chosen when they are individually unique but they will rarely be mutually exclusive.  They may also have the character of being "standardized" or arbitrarily chosen in that one could have started with a different starting point and ended up with an equivalent but different set of representative parts.  In some sense the addition of the parts equals the whole.

Alternately, you can take the whole (visible light) and filter it through a finite set of well-chosen, representative (but not non-arbitrary) filters (cone cells) and thereby create an array of differentiables (colors) that are cognitively manageable yet can be extended into innumerable distinctions.  By cognitively manageable I mean that it does not require an escalating amount of energy to differentiate into an ever wider variety of forms. 

The neural mechanism of color vision are my root metaphor.

rads

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Re: spectral whole
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 12:45:48 PM »
Quote
The spectral whole is the idea that you can take a physical aspect of the world (visible light) and break it up into a finite list of qualities or parts (colors).

Interesting, how one's attitude to what we perceive (analytical vs. synthetic) can influence the interpretation of the very same concept... For me the spectral whole is quite the opposite, like a reminder that any sort of filtering or dividing that we apply to what we perceive (be it objects, classes, concepts etc.) is just a temporary illusion, while the primordial nature of the world is more like a continuous, unified substance, with no separate entities in it.

Still... Taking these two apparently opposite standpoints as equally true can possibly get us closer to the realization of the true nature of the mind and the mechanisms of our perception.

PS. I hope you don't mind me intruding here.

Sealchan

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Re: spectral whole
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2013, 03:18:00 PM »
Quote
Interesting, how one's attitude to what we perceive (analytical vs. synthetic) can influence the interpretation of the very same concept... For me the spectral whole is quite the opposite, like a reminder that any sort of filtering or dividing that we apply to what we perceive (be it objects, classes, concepts etc.) is just a temporary illusion, while the primordial nature of the world is more like a continuous, unified substance, with no separate entities in it.

I think this is implicit in what i've said given that it is recognized that the world is often like electromagnetic radiation, a continuous range of variation.  But a flesh and blood cognitive system must, perhaps, break this infinite range of light-wavelenghts (or other sensations) and 'pixelate' it into a finite set of differences.  Since in our phenomenology we both perceive color as a practically infinite array of fine variations AND as a finite set of primary/secondary color categories, we have this duality of opposite standpoints from which, as you say, we get a hint at the nature of the mind.  Indeed, this is an expression of the mind-body duality.

I often think of Tarot cards as an analogous idea, that there is a finite set of Tarot cards that one can map one's psyche/destiny to and derive a prediction or new perspective from.  Without this finite set of cards how could we read, in our lifetimes and with only so many calories to burn, an infinite deck of Tarot cards more precisely matched to the true diversity of our psyche?

There is no intrusion on your part.  Thanks for your thoughts!  These posts were meant to elicit discussion.