Where is the boundary between internal and external?

When looking at the circle, is the boundary between the black circle and white background, black? Or white?

Our discussion on ‘boundaries’ was really insightful, it helped us to consider the difficulties in pin pointing the exact place of a boundary. We function with physical boundaries, understanding that there is some form of physical difference between us and ‘otherness’, however exploring this more in depth it becomes apparent how difficult it is to actually pin point where one thing starts and another ends. Especially mind blowing is the thought that essentially the world is composed of mainly nothing, as each atom contains 99.9% nothing. Understanding this, it becomes very difficult on  an atomic level to separate things with boundaries.

We covered two main types of boundaries

Fiat Boundaries – Boundaries applied to the world by societies

Discussing fiat boundaries really opened up some interesting ideas. As these are constructed boundaries, they do innately, physically exist. Rather they find their existence distributed through various organisations, laws, agreements and minds.

Bona Fide Boundaries – Boundaries marked by physical discontinuity

Bona Fide boundaries offer more of a physical existence, yet are still subject to the question where does one thing start and another end?

We explored theories of quantum physics in relation to the question of boundaries, particularly focusing on the indeterminacy that exists on such a small scale. The further you look into the fabric of the universe, the more difficult it becomes to make physical measurements and pinpoint boundaries.


The theory put forward by Rob Pepperell to view this difficulty in pinpointing boundaries.

He proposes that we ought to recognise that the dimensions of objects extend indefinitely throughout time and space. They can not be given exact locations, but instead occupy a much more extensive existence. Pepperell suggests that this can influence how we look at ‘the conscious mind’, he argues that it becomes difficult to locate a specific boundary between the mind and the world – rather, we can think of the mind as neither internal or external but as an extension of both.



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