Limit case

Finally, we are able to catch a glimpse into McGilchrist’s new book (he reads out the first 30 minutes of the introduction on YouTube). And if this were not so new, it might look like another case where my blog had stolen an idea from him: the limit case.

During CCK08, I described hierarchical structures (trees) as border case of genuine networks (webs). And a bit later I compared the difference between connective knowledge and simple assertion knowledge to the difference between a parallelogram and a rectangle (the latter being a special/ border/ limit case of the former), and noted that its conceptual connection strength was exactly one, i.e. the limit case of the more general strengths varying between 0 and 1, in the central neuronal metaphor of Connectivism.

A rectangle and 3 parallelograms with width or height equal to the rectangle's, with different colors, and all aligned at the bottom.

Throughout the years that followed, I had this distinction in my mind’s eye when I read and wrote about the complicated vs. the complex, the linear vs. the nonlinear, or later about McGilchrist’s ‘left hemisphere’ mode of attention (fixed in time and isolated in conceptual space) vs. the more real-world ‘right hemisphere’ mode.

Now in his new book, McGilchrist applies the concept of the limit case to a large variety of relationships: isolation vs. interrelation, motion vs. inertia, thought vs. language, explicit vs. implicit, literal vs. metaphorical, order vs. randomness/ chaos, inanimacy vs. animacy, potential vs. actual, determinate vs. indeterminate, straight lines vs. curves, linearity vs. non-linearity, discontinuous vs. continuous, independence vs. interdependence, and most prominently, relationships vs. the things related (from minute 16:56). And it’s just fascinating!

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