Mon, 14 Feb 1994 10:57:07 CST

A belated bibliographical note for "culture" buffs: Kroeber and
Kluckhohn's *Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions*
begins with a "General History of the Word Culture" that runs over 60
pages. Of special interest, for our thread, is their remark (citing
Wundt), "The word is from colere, whence cultus, as in cultus deorum and
cultus agri, which latter became also cultura agri. From this there
developed the mediaeval cultura mentis; from which grew the dual
concepts of geistige and meterielle Kultur" (NY:Vintage Books, c. 1952:
p. 15). The connection to agriculture is interesting in view of
"culture"'s complicated relationship with "civilization," the
latter having had, in the French verb *civiliser*, "the sense of
polishing manners, rendering sociable, or becoming urbane as a result of
city life" (ibid, p. 16). Is it possible that the struggle over the
culture concept is a veiled clash between us peasants who feel part of
nature (thus insisting that culture is in part material), and more
upscale, urbane types who feel their "civility" is compromised by any
definition of "culture" that includes material things, or extends to
monkeys and apes the privilege of possessing it?--Bob Graber