Article published in:Anthropology of Color: Interdisciplinary multilevel modeling
Edited by Robert E. MacLaury, Galina V. Paramei and Don Dedrick
[Not in series 137] 2007
► pp. 467–479
Towards a new topology of colour
The mainstream concept of ‘color’ implicitly contains a theory of unification (through percepts and sensations), about the physical universe and mind. ‘Color’ is the primal ‘glue’, the medium of ‘in-between-ness’ that holds world and mind together. I argue that a re-characterization of this theory and its buried preconceptions could generate, within a discipline like Anthropology, a new topology. In contrast to the theory of Basic Color Terms(1969, 1991), my suggestion is to draw on historiography and philosophy, rather than on unilineal, evolutionary science.What is of importance, as Robert MacLaury knew so well, is to question the way mainstream color theory remains disguised by functional coherence and formal systematizations of ‘data’.Were that knowledge, hitherto masked by physiological theory, to implode, then it would reveal the structures of history and power congealed within it. That would raise significant questions, especially about the nature of ‘cross-cultural’ experimentation on ‘color.’
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Published online: 21 November 2007