Review of Metaphysics 8 (3):493 - 509 (1955)

"An adequate theory of culture," says David Bidney in Theoretical Anthropology, "must explain the origin of culture and its intrinsic relations to the psychobiological nature of man. To insist upon the self-sufficiency and autonomy of culture, as if culture were a closed system requiring only historical explanations in terms of other cultural phenomena, is not to explain culture, but to leave its origin a mystery or an accident of time". Earlier, on the same page, he writes, "Culture is not an 'objective construct' whose existence is independent of man; it depends, rather, upon man's innate equipment and biological inheritance." These formulations reflect both his own interests and his misconstrual of the intentions of other anthropologists. One would suspect from the way he puts it that it was quite common for anthropologists to talk about a self-subsistent entity, culture, really existing independent of human beings. This is simply not the case, but the reasons for his view must be made apparent.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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Reprint years 1955
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph19558310
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