definitions of culture

Thu, 20 Jan 1994 20:02:14 EST

Foss recently suggested an intriquing definition of culture, to which
Read commented with a slightly difference way to think about what a
scientific anthropology should have as its goals.

Like Read, I think Foss' definition has a desirable ring to it . . . and
Foss has synthesized in one sentence the entire concept that I have been
attempting to verbalize in the development of Construct Realism as a
theory of culture. If Dan is listening in . . . do you mind if I quote
you in publications?

Read, however, hits some interesting points. In particular, he notes
that the definition requires a more formal logic before it can be a base
for a scientific anthropology . . . and notes that one of the problems it
must address is the sharing of culture, while another is interpretive.

Just a note, positing a holographic variant of mental organization for
culture as is done in Construct Realism, with the assumption that there
are shared structural tendencies that span the mental, behavioral and
material levels meets both Foss' and Read's criteria and intents . . . at least
I believe it does. For those who have been gracious enough to review the
Concept Realism papers, and listened in on the Foss - Read discussion,
do you agree or disagree?

John O'Brien
Dept. of Anthropology
Indiana University Bloomington

PS . . . yup, changed departmental affiliations for a bit.