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About Culture


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In defining the term Culture, reference is made to the Latin colo, colui, cultum, ere, - which translates as "to cultivate" (in relation to agriculture). Hence the term Culture. Latin colo can also be interpreted as "to perfect" and "to preserve".

Marcus Tullius Cicero is credited with introducing the term "cultura animi" into the rank of a philosophical category, understanding it as "cultivation of the soul".

In the statement of Immanuel Kant (German "Kritik der Urteilskraft", Immanuel Kant, 1790) Culture, within the framework of the concept of "bildung", is considered as the totality of all achievements of Mankind.

It would be possible to stop at this definition, but I cannot but cite the point of view of Edward Burnett Tylor (1832), who is considered to be the father of the evolutionary theory of cultural development. The list of phenomena that make up the life of a people: customs, habits, crafts, morals, ... Tylor called Culture. Each next generation of people in any society lives in different, more advanced cultural conditions than the previous one. The more educated and cultured people a society has, the more evolved it is. This evolution, according to Tylor, is due not so much to the efforts of thought as to the action of the mechanism of trial and error, reward and punishment, as well as imitation, indoctrination, and the influence of individual and group interests. Evolutionary series are independent, but they are capable of crossing, and then the connection of cultural phenomena far from each other gives rise to qualitatively new solutions.

And a few words about Cultural Norms of Behavior "Patterns of Culture", 1934, Ruth Benedict, 1887, USA. It seems natural and logical that isolated human societies form their own norms of behavior, customs, crafts, which forms a specific culture of the considered person, nation, state and civilization. Ruth Benedict distinguishes three cultural models of development: acculturation (mutual influence of cultures), assimilation (process of substitution of separate elements of cultures), syncretism or multiculturalism.

Summarizing these points of view, we can give the following definition of the term Culture.

The transmission of conscious knowledge from generation to generation constitutes the Culture of an individual, a nation and Mankind.

If the history of modern Mankind is about 200 thousand years, the same number of years (and perhaps more) of Culture. Thus, Culture is the property of all Mankind and should be available in full to every person, regardless of whether he or she needs this Knowledge or not. Only under such conditions the Culture of Mankind, people and an individual will be high.

But, this definition of Culture is only the visible part of the iceberg and the concept of Culture should be amended.

Since the world is dual, the knowledge and, accordingly, the Culture based on it are dual.

For example, a "winged" phrase from Hans Johst's drama "Schlageter" ("Schlageter", German) comes to mind, where one of the characters Friedrich Tiemann says: "When I hear about culture, I take the safety off my Browning." ("Wenn ich Kultur höre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning." (German)). The phrase then became attributed to various leaders of the Nazi party and eventually spread to totalitarian regimes. And this, too, is Culture.

A human being (in general case, a Being) at birth is endowed by the Creator with certain knowledge that determines the kind of being - divine or demonic. This knowledge is manifested as mental images at the right moment in the course of life, realized or not by a person, preserved and transmitted to another person or becomes the property of Mankind. In this case it is appropriate to speak about human culture. In the same way a society, society, state is cultural if it preserves and allows free exchange of all available knowledge.

Taking into account the correction made, it should be added that Culture is a dual dynamic indicator of realized knowledge preserved by a person, nation, state, and transmitted from generation to generation. Why dynamic? For the reason that Culture can change dualistically in time.

I find such expressions ridiculous: cultural elite, cultural level, cultural circle.

A person either has culture or not.

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