Re: Culture

Rafael Candido Alvarado (rca2t@FARADAY.CLAS.VIRGINIA.EDU)
Fri, 28 Jan 1994 23:31:55 -0500

>Lt Commander Data has written:
>Culture is, simply, learned behavior. Embodied in that simple statement
>are all the apsects of culture that you need: learned = reproduced;
>behavior = human activity and the products thereof.

This is a good definition of culture; it includes all of those things
Tylor mentions. However, as I think Read has been arguing, so long as
you are going to posit learned behavior, why not use the term culture to
refer to that which generates learned behavior? The only problem with
this is that it leads to a substantialized conception of culture--as
something "in the mind"--when in fact it should be conceived of as the
complex result of a number of factors, both external and internal.

>Homo sapiens is the only animal that has the ability to change its niche.
>The result is culture (ie: learned behavior). This is a very simplified
>look at biocultural evolution; for a more detailed view, check out Paul
>Colinvaux "Why Big Fierce Animals are Rare".

The result or the cause? Both?

R.C. Alvarado rca2t@Virginia.EDU
Department of Anthropology rca2t@Virginia.BITNET
University of Virginia uunet!virginia!rca2t