Re: Definitions of culture

J Cook (0002019573@MCIMAIL.COM)
Wed, 7 Aug 1996 07:38:00 EST

-- [ From: Jesse S. Cook III * EMC.Ver #2.3 ] --

Date: Tuesday, 06-Aug-96 05:50 PM

From: Matthew Hill \ Internet: (
From: Matthew Hill \ Internet: (
To: Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L \ Internet:

Subject: Re: Definitions of culture

"In refence to Cook's 'culture is everything humans invent'."

"It seems to me that to think in that manner requires us to reject the idea of
evolution as regards the origins of culture."

Are you referring to Kephart or Cook here? And, in any event, why?

"Cooke's definition seems to be circular - It is not culture if non-humans have
it and having culture is what distinguishes humans from non-humans."

It is circular, but not the way you have it. Culture is everything humans
invent, and everything humans invent is culture.

"That avoids having to consider the difficult and interesting questions about
the origins of culture in favour of what is at base a catastrophic explanation
of the Clarkian (Arthur C.) sort."

How did you come up with that conclusion?

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Arthur C. Clark. Someone told me he was a
science-fiction writer. Maybe that's why I'm not familiar with him. I prefer
science to fiction.