Re: Definitions of culture

J Cook (0002019573@MCIMAIL.COM)
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 07:18:00 EST

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

-------- REPLY, Original message follows --------

Date: Monday, 12-Aug-96 10:58 PM

From: jrc \ Internet: (
From: jrc \ Internet: (
To: Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L \ Internet: (anthro-

Subject: Re: Definitions of culture

But yes, consult Kluckhohn and Kroeber--and use a critical eye to be sure not
to rule important aspects of culture out of bounds or non-existant.

One further note: the debate about "animal culture" is no debate unless one is
a "human exceptionalist" anxious about proving we're "not just animals."
Various animals have degrees of culture, from tool-making to imposition of
arbitrary forms on the environment to shared learned behavior to emotions to
ritual.....etc. Humans do a lot of these things MOREso, but the evolutionary
continuity should be obvious--and to me, at least, even comforting in that it
suggests that we have very great plasticity and yet extended "kinship" with
other species!

--John R. Cole

-------- REPLY, End of original message --------

Please give examples of "imposition of arbitrary forms on the environment".
And what is included in the "etc."?

If "animals have degrees of culture", you will have to change the definition
found in most textbooks and every dictionary. Furthermore, you'll have to
change Cultural Anthropology to Cultural Ethology.

Jesse S. Cook III