Man, culture, creativity, the concept of culture and civilization - Philosophy

Man, culture, creativity

As a result of studying this chapter, the student must:

know the basic philosophical concepts of culture and civilization;

be able to distinguish between the general and the particular in the cultures of different peoples and to realize mutual understanding in the process of intercultural communication;

own skills of civilized behavior, understanding of the etiquette of different cultural communities, to be able to promote respectful attitude to the norms of behavior of representatives of different cultures.

When asked what a person is, there are very different answers.

In natural science a person is defined as the apex of biological evolution; a natural being that differs from animals by the ability to speak, straightforwardness, the ability to make tools, the presence of intelligence, social life.

In philosophy and the humanities, a person is described as the vehicle of the mind. He is fundamentally different from animals by his intelligence, which allows him to restrain and control bodily drives and instincts. Through reason, a person comprehends the laws of the universe, opens science, invents technology, transforms nature and creates a new habitat. In addition to intelligence, you can specify other spiritual characteristics of a person: only he is able to believe in God, to distinguish between good and alo, to realize his mortality, to remember the past and to believe in the future. Only a person is capable of laughing and crying, loving and hating, judging and evaluating, fantasizing and creating.

In their criticism of the natural scientific definition of the human being, the representatives of the humanitarian approach noted the principle openness and incompleteness of a person who, by nature, has no prescribed instincts to ensure survival. Moreover, man as a biological being is weak and vulnerable in comparison with animals, so it is unclear how he could compete with them so successfully that he became the most powerful force on Earth.

For a long time these two opposite approaches to man were absolutized. Sometimes they stimulated the development of each other, but more often prevented it. Meanwhile, the fact that a person is a historical, social and cultural being, provides an opportunity to overcome the existing opposition of the spiritual and corporal and thus opens the way for new fruitful programs of both natural scientific and humanitarian knowledge of man. The so-called human nature is not something given, but is built in each culture in its own way. As a consequence, there is no reason to speak of the inherent aggressiveness or, conversely, of solidarity, since the natural inclinations that every person has are successfully suppressed or, on the contrary, intensified by society. People literally had to learn everything themselves and everything they can do is a product of cultural development, upbringing and education.

The concept of culture and civilization

The concept of culture can be interpreted at least in two ways.

Anthropology understands by culture the whole way of life of people, the social inheritance that an individual receives from his group.

On the other hand, culture can be viewed as part of the world created by man. This specialized term has a broader meaning than the concept of culture in the historical or literary sense. A humble kitchen pot is a product of culture to the same extent as the Beethoven sonata.

Culture is primarily a way of thinking, feeling, believing. This is the knowledge of the group, which is stored in the memory of people, books and subjects, for further use. A distinctive feature of a person is existence in symbolic environment , which is characterized not so much by physical as by social parameters and scales. The presence of a symbolic metric is found in all the phenomena of the human world: clothing covers the body from the cold and simultaneously performs disciplinary functions, expresses its social position. Even modern fashion, with all its freedom, fulfills the repressive role of the regulator of human behavior. The human dwelling has a similar symbolic meaning, the device of which is determined not only by the need for physical survival, but also by social ideas about the wealth, fame, influence of its owner.

A variety of cultural definitions ("people's way of life", "spiritual heritage", "collective knowledge", "social norms of behavior", "environmental relations matrices", "communicative strategies", mentality as a set of spiritually-bodily structures etc.) are based on the opposition of cultural and natural. Thus, in the Age of Enlightenment, the idea of ​​a person with one hand, is based on the mind, and on the other - on the nature. This did not seem contradictory, because the Enlightenmentists did not break up the nature and culture as sharply as we did. They believed that the society is "natural law", and believed that the mind is not alien to nature. For example, Immanuel Kant admired the fact that nature is organized according to the principles of the human mind. The essence of the concept of human nature is to ascertain its immutability. The theater of life changes all the time, actors act with different roles, in different clothes, speak and act according to one or another customs, but their inner motivations and motives, passions and desires remain unchanged throughout the ages. Therefore, for the philosophical theory of man, everything related to race, temperament, nationality, history, culture, everyday life, etc. had no significance. The illusory assumption of the unchanging nature of man has become increasingly evident not only because of the development of ethnography or cultural anthropology. The drift towards the recognition of the cultural-historical, and then the national-ethnic relativity of the "human" is caused by the processes of emancipation within European societies that have become increasingly heterogeneous, multiethnic, multinational and thus more tolerant of the "Other."

Major changes in modern ideas about culture occurred in the development of ethnography, social, historical and cultural anthropology. Ethnocultural research contributed to the development of the way of life of the so-called wild peoples subjected to colonization and the identification of the main universals of culture, which included not only knowledge and spiritual achievements but also exotic and mysterious traditions and stereotypes, beliefs and rituals. This contributed to an understanding of the importance of norms and patterns of interpersonal communication in civilized societies in which, in addition to written rights and laws, there appeared many seemingly natural and generally accepted limitations and rules that form the basis of rational prescriptions.

The process of creating new cultural traditions should also take into account the more capacious image of culture that today has developed in science on the basis of studying a wide historical, sociological and ethnographic material. Norms, beliefs, patterns of behavior, speech, rhythms of work and rest form the basis of the order of both public and individual life of a person. This everyday system of order does not remain unchanged, it evolves in the course of social progress. At the same time, there are contradictions between traditional values ​​and new forms of life of young generations, which are solved differently in different cultures.

The current situation is characterized by a reduction in the repressiveness of the pressure of traditional culture and consists in recognizing diversity within the framework of a single culture of various subcultures , in particular youth. With greater respect, than before, people value an individual way of life and behavior. Culture becomes more and more diverse and does not reduce primarily to spiritual creativity, but embraces diverse forms of life, communication and behavior. Significant cultural criteria are not so much ideas, as real goals, needs, rules, roles, communicative and semantic codes of communication.

Samples of human relations and in general all kinds of norms, life styles, patterns of behavior, activity stereotypes, figures of interhuman dependencies - all this forms a complex fabric of culture. These phenomena can be universal (for example, public holidays) and private (family celebrations, weddings and anniversaries). Cultural samples can be both norms and ideals, as descriptions (descriptions), and proscriptions (prescriptions). In fact, these seeming external and formal, "soulless" norms characterize human behavior much better than intentions and goals. Outstanding anthropologists Alfred Louis Kreber (1876-1960) and Clyde Clakhon (1905-1960) believed that culture consists of traditions and norms that determine behavior. It arises from the activities of groups of people, including its embodiment in the media. The core core of culture is made up of traditional, historically formed ideas, especially those with the greatest value attributed to them. Cultural systems can be viewed, on the one hand, as a result of people's activities, and on the other hand as its regulators. The American anthropologist and ethologist Leslie White (1900-1975) defined culture as the organization of phenomena, types and norms of activity, objects (tools, things created with the help of tools), ideas (faith and knowledge) and feelings (attitudes, attitudes and values), expressed in symbolic form. And according to the American ethnologist " Ward Goodinaf (born in 1919), the culture of society consists of what it is necessary to know and what it is necessary to believe its members in order to act in a mutually acceptable way and fulfill any meaningful role for them.

Not all social events are culturally programmed. Culture is a pile of collective knowledge of people. Any culture is a set of techniques for adapting to the environment and to other people. The process of building a culture can be considered as a supplement to the innate biological abilities of a person, supplying tools that support and sometimes replace biological functions and compensate biological limitations.

British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) regarded culture as an aggregate of artificially created means of regulation and satisfaction of needs. Culture is defined as biologically inadequate information, as well as a way of preserving and transmitting, the structure of the dwelling, the means of communication, tools, life, worship, etc.

In recent years, not without the influence of zoologists of the "family" form, "role structures of group life" primates also began to be considered something of a culture, including elements of social experience. The presence of elements of a symbolic communication exchange, skills and "traditions", "knowledge" and technologies prelude means that in culture there is nothing specifically human. In particular, as a common phenomenon for higher animals and humans, protoculture is. As a system of learned behavior, it is inherent in both humans and animals.

Natural needs in different societies have different socially sanctioned forms, moreover, within the framework of one society its members are guided by different group norms of behavior. At the same time, society is seen as a structure, and culture as the content of a joint life. It materialized not only in the system of things, but also in ways of communication and communicative strategies. Cultural phenomena are artificial, not for nothing they are often opposed to nature. The core of culture is technology, based on the capabilities of which are carried out those or other desires. Technologies exist not only in science and production, but also in management and upbringing, communication and interaction.

Culture serves as a kind of protective shell of a man who is born ill-adapted to the world around him and is forced to build for his survival an artificial habitat. In the humanities it is studied as a product and creation of man. From a semiotic point of view, culture derives from a person's ability to symbolize, by means of which the distinction and classification of phenomena develops, as well as their interpretation and explanation. The symbols reflect either external objects or internal intentions, or rather, they are an alloy of both. Even an animal perceives and selects phenomena based on its instincts and needs, and a person processes sensory information in accordance with its goals and objectives, which are largely determined by its place in the system of society as "superorganism". Culture is characterized by the ability to actively transform the natural environment into an artificial environment that meets the needs of the individual. Through labor, a person can transform natural material into things and tools - the most important elements of his artificial world. It is in interaction with culture that the so-called personal characteristics and abilities of a person are formed.

Thus, initially, it would seem, the understandable word "culture" acquires an unexpected complexity, because it includes both material and ideal content. United States sociologist and culturologist. Ya. Danilevsky first attempted to specify a synthetic definition of culture, which included the following symptoms:

► Religious activity, encompassing the attitude of man to God, comprehension of his place in the world, destiny and destiny (here we are talking not about theological treatises, but about the primordial people's faith, which forms the basis of morality);

► cultural (in a narrow sense) activities, including science, art, technology as a form of mastering the external world;

► political activity, expressed in the creation of the state and the formation of the people as a form of political and spiritual unity;

► socio-economic activities related to the improvement is not so much spiritual and moral as economic ties.

Danilevsky's ideas were picked up by the German culture historian Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), who in his sensational book "The Decline of Europe" (1918) pointed to the diversity of types of cultures, highlighting the creative and mechanical principles in them. Defining culture as a powerful spiritual impulse, a passionate struggle for the assertion of the idea against the external forces of chaos, he counterposed her civilization as a frozen system of cultural achievements hindering creativity.

The organic connection of material and spiritual factors has achieved Π. N. Milyukov , who described the development of United States culture with the following conditions:

→ physical and geographical parameters site development culture;

→ growth, differentiation and resettlement of the people but of its territory;

→ economic and economic structures;

→ social system, development of the state, politics and law;

→ the spiritual side of culture, which includes religious, artistic and scientific evolution.

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