November 18, 2006
For the last few years, I've been fascinated with Eleanor Rosch's work on prototype theory (which George Lakoff took as his starting point for Women, Fire and Dangerous Things).
Rosch's theory of categorization always struck me as surprisingly compatible with the Buddhist understanding of mind. Briefly, Rosch's theory suggests that people create categories by mapping their sensory perceptions against cognitive "prototypes"; in contrast to the traditional classical view of categories as idealized expressions of some transcendental higher truth. Similarly, Buddhist teachings suggest that mind is more than just a disembodied neurological entity, but rather an aggregate experience that is intimately bound up with our physical bodies and sense perceptions.
So, I suppose it should come as no surprise that Rosch turns out to be a Buddhist; I just discovered she was a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In this essay, she discusses the relationship between cognition and art:
File under: Dharma_____________________
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