Culture

Topics: Psychology, Linguistics, Anthropology Pages: 2 (486 words) Published: September 19, 2013
is a modern concept based on a term first used in classical antiquity by the Roman orator Cicero: "cultura animi" (cultivation of the soul). This non-agricultural use of the term "culture" re-appeared in modern Europe in the 17th century referring to the betterment or refinement of individuals, especially through education. During the 18th and 19th century it came to refer more frequently to the common reference points of whole peoples, and discussion of the term was often connected to national aspirations or ideals. Some scientists used the term "culture" to refer to a universal human capacity. In the 20th century, "culture" emerged as a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of human phenomena that cannot be attributed to genetic inheritance. Specifically, the term "culture" in American anthropology had two meanings: 1. the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and 2. the distinct ways that people living differently classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.[2] Hoebel describes culture as an integrated system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance.[3] Distinctions are currently made between the physical artifacts created by a society, its so-called material culture, and everything else,[4] the intangibles such as language, customs, etc. that are the main referent of the term "culture". The etymology of the modern term "culture" has a classical origin. In English, the word "culture" is based on a term used by Cicero in his Tusculan Disputations, where he wrote of a cultivation of the soul or "cultura animi", thereby using an agricultural metaphor to describe the development of a philosophical soul, which was understood teleologically as the one natural highest possible ideal for human development. Samuel Pufendorf took over this metaphor in a...
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