Cultural Beings: Reading the Philosophers of <i>Genesis</i> - Value Inquiry Book Series 89 (Paperback)
  • Cultural Beings: Reading the Philosophers of <i>Genesis</i> - Value Inquiry Book Series 89 (Paperback)
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Cultural Beings: Reading the Philosophers of <i>Genesis</i> - Value Inquiry Book Series 89 (Paperback)

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Paperback 217 Pages / Published: 01/01/2000
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Human beings are a cultural species. This predicament enables them to take on many different cultural identities, all of which transcend the bounds of natural behavior of other species. To contemplate this predicament through philosophy is to reflect on such questions as, What makes cultural forms of life possible? What is encompassed in them? What lies at their core? What distinguishes them from natural forms of life? What brings them about, sustains, and causes them to change? Philosophical answers to these questions predate abstract ways of thinking, as they are sometimes embedded in ancient mythical and religious narratives. Such is the story told in the first three chapters of the book of Genesis in the Bible, revealing how human beings became the cultural beings that they are. This study suggests how that ancient and most celebrated story in the literature of the West may be read as harboring insightful philosophical observations on the cultural nature of human beings. It first focuses on the very concept of cultural forms of life, revealing its complicated conceptual links to natural forms of life. It then offers an interpretive framework for reading mythical, symbolic narratives. Using these ideas, it provides a philosophical reading of the Biblical narrative, disclosing it to harbor a metaphysically oriented conception of nature and two insightful philosophical overviews of the cultural nature of human beings. Both overviews endow human beings with an ability to manipulate nature, but in different ways: the first by subjugating parcels of nature to human will; the second by subjugating human beings themselves to a value-laden conception of things and ethical forms of life. Thus, human beings are portrayed as natural creatures possessed of a cultural nature that enables them to transform nature and recreate themselves through their unique cultural predicament.

Publisher: Brill
ISBN: 9789042004696
Number of pages: 217
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 220 x 150 mm

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