The Metaphysics of Culture

Abstract
The introduction takes up the history and meaning of the term culture and concurs with Dawson’s holistic view that culture has both material and spiritualfoundations. What I call the incarnated character of culture as extensional from and expressive of human beings, taken as hylomorphic substances, then brings us to the overriding theme of the paper: the metaphysical structure of culture. What discloses itself, in this regard, is the accidentality of culture as a system of relational acts rooted in social reality. Human society, in turn, is an accidental system of human substances in relation. Such substantial grounding of both society and culture will lead to the recognition that the human soul, through its substantial act or “esse,” manifests itself socially/culturally in the flesh. Culture is thereby the expression of the human soul. What then follows is a metaphysical investigation of why cultures live (this includes focuses on Aquinas, Eliade, Pieper) and why they die (focuses include Spengler, Schweitzer, Voegelin). The conclusion touches on the restoration of culture
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