Nature and Culture
The World of Phenomena and the World of Interpretation
Following the monograph Mimicry, Aposematism and Related Phenomena: Mimetism in Nature and the History of its Study (2003), LINCOM publishers now present a collection of the author’s essays on the relation of nature and culture. The relationship of the human and the natural is one of the most important topics of all and represents a wide-ranging set of problems. This book, therefore, is governed by an effort to call attention to some overlooked and forgotten aspects rather than those generally discussed. Also, it is more concerned with a “holonomic” capturing of the human and non-human world than an exhaustive treatment of individual themes. The book is based primarily on the concepts of C. G. Jung and A. Portmann, who see a common root for human creativity and natural creativity, which, in relation to European thought, is a perspective closer to the classical Chinese outlook on nature and society.
The organisation of the book is led by the author’s conviction of the unity of the human and natural world and its “dramas,” and, at the same time, a conviction regarding the precedence of phenomena over remote interpretations of them and an effort to avoid “brutal” reductionism in favour of certain “moderate” reductions. The book addresses the human perception of the world and its relation to language; the problem of anthropomorphism and sociomorphic, biomorphic, and mechanomorphic modeling in our scientific and non-scientific perceptions of nature; parallels between the evolution of artefacts and natural objects; Portmann’s natural aesthetic, and other related topics. Are cultural processes antithetical to natural processes, or are they rather a case of “nature carried on by other means?”
ISBN 9783929075847. LINCOM Studies in the Humanities 02. 296pp. 2009.