Humanitarian competence in a global world. Does the culture have its rights?

12/02/2018

The definition of culture. In 1952 Clyde Kluckhohn and Alfred Louis Kroeber, famous American social anthropologists – published a book that became the most cited work in culturology of the second half of the twentieth century. In the book "Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions”, 1952, Cambridge, the authors have collected known at that period definitions of culture that have been suggested by anthropologists, sociologists and philosophers. Exploring the relationship between culture and language, culture and society, the individual, the authors attempted to synthesize a universal definition of culture.

A phenomenon of culture was so versatile that the attempts to emphasize in the concept of "culture" elements that would be restrictive markings, characteristic for a particular sphere of knowledge, objects, phenomena, properties and relations, had led not only to its polysemy, but also to the fact that in various studies the culture was spoken about not as different sides of the same phenomenon, but as different phenomena in principle. Nevertheless, we intuitively understand that culture is directly linked to such concepts as "personality", "society", "beauty" and "harmony".

Matthew Arnold, an English poet and culturologist, one of the most reputable literary critics and essayists of the Victorian period in his book "Culture and Anarchy", 1869 described this phenomenon as following. He thought that the basis of culture consists of love to that surrounds a man and also the impulses that encourage him to do good, to help others. These impulses also create in a man the desire to work on our mistakes, the mistakes of past generations, to remove the veil of human delusions and, ultimately, a noble desire to make the world better and happier than it was before us.

Culture — a passion for perfection. The phenomenon of culture acquires its true meaning only when it is based not on the curiosity but on a passion for perfection, and then the culture can be called a science of perfection. The quintessence of this science is not only a thirst for knowledge but also moral and social commitment to do good. Thus, if culture is the desire for perfection, that manifests itself as an internal condition of mind and spirit but not as a set of external circumstances and the desire for assignment and possession, its role for mankind appears to us in a completely other light. And this role is especially important in the modern world, that, unlike traditional civilizations, where the devotion to traditions penetrates in all the spheres of social and individual being, is socially disunited, mechanistic and has a rampant tendency to possession and consumption.

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