Date of Publishing:
January 15, 2015

2015 © Anderwald + Grond

Limit and Threshold

Both notions seem crucial when thinking of the catalysts for dizziness. Reaching one’s own limit makes one dizzy. Crossing a threshold, which is understood as a symbol for ending something and beginning something new, could begin within dizziness but also end with lucidity.

Madeleine Schechter defines the limit as the following: “In Western tradition, limit appears very early on in Greek philosophy, where peras is connected to the problem of the continuum, with the general sense that limit marks the end of a region in space, also indicating the suppression of all separations. Thus, in the literal sense, as mentioned above, limit has a purely physical connotation, being the place where a certain reality, i.e. thing or territory, ends. However, the term has also had from the beginning a complex meaning, since limit can exist only in connection with a "before" and a "beyond". As such, interest in the limits of the categories and consequently in their transition or transgression is the hallmark of a certain epistemological shift, whose focus is not on limit as border, but on limit as threshold (which both connects and separates), creating a "third space" (in Homi Bhabha’s formulation), and as such can be described as in-betweenness (in Victor Turner’s terms). […] Turner’s terms, i.e. liminal (already used by van Gennep in a cultural and not merely physical sense) and liminoid become heuristic models, whose aim is to verbalize and elaborate an analysis of culture, starting from the deep-rooted human insight into the fruitful, powerful, and creative potential of thinking about those disturbing yet fascinating states and processes that are neither determined nor limited nor amorphic nor limitless.” (, Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften, Nr. 16, August 2006)