Sense of Emptiness
Human perception is often believed to function holistically, especially in the tradition of Gestalt psychology, involving a focused item and its surrounding. This holistic approach can allow us to explain something that is not directly experienced in our perception, meaning that the absence as well as the presence of something can have a significant impact on how we perceive the world. The way we perceive the presence is more or less the same cross-culturally, but the prominence of the absence, or what is termed emptiness in this volume, varies considerably from one culture to another. The aim of this volume is to identify what emptiness is like and how different cultures incorporate this concept from various perspectives. It turns out that emptiness plays a key role in identifying socio-cultural diversity in a broader sense, including arts and languages.This volume consists of contributions from different fields covering a wide range of topics such as history, literary studies, mythology, film studies, architecture, linguistics, social-anthropology, ethnology and cognitive science. Due to the range covered in this volume, studies presented here are highly interdisciplinary, but all chapters deal with the sense of emptiness, which suggest that the underlying idea of the significance of emptiness is pervasive. Yet, this topic has not previously been systematically compared across different disciplines. It is hoped that this volume will offer a first overview of the pervasiveness and integration of disciplines concerning the sense of emptiness.
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