Over the last 20 years culture has become a key concept in intellectual disciplines across the social sciences and humanities. However, it is a notoriously difficult concept to pin down, having very different meanings in different contexts. This book seeks to chart a route through the maze, revealing the variety of meanings of culture. It demonstrates that culture is not something that emerges from out of human activity, but rather is part and parcel of it. This book looks at how culture emerges and manifests itself in human life, and how it is experienced in the life of individuals and collectivities. It also explores the ways in which globalizing processes and changes in technology are affecting cultural identity, and w
Chapter 7: The Place of Reason in Culture
The Place of Reason in Culture
No reasoning person believes what is contrary to his reason.
Humans, as sensate beings, belong to the world they share with other living creatures. Encultured, we enter a world that is marked by reason and restraint. Descartes, of course, posited this as the essential feature of human existence: ‘I think, therefore I am.’ The Cartesian cogito has inserted itself as an Enlightenment catechism that retains its power to the present day, despite the inherent problems that surround it as an explanation of the essence of what we are. As such it has reinforced the emphasis on reason that unites the Christian and Greek philosophical traditions through the concept of logos.
No matter how we respond ...