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2007 | 1(16) | 71-79

Article title

On the Notion of Culture


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The author, referring to Marek Siemek's book 'The idea of transcendentalism in Fichte and Kant', underlines the significance of the notion of culture as the area between the world of noumena and the world of phenomena, as the border area between 'freedom' and 'nature'. This notion stems from Kantian rejection of the idea of direct knowledge, and from his commitment to the holistic, relation, mediated account of knowledge - on the epistemological, and not epistemic level, as Siemek strongly underlines. This mediated sphere is the intersubjective structure of socialization and culture. According to the author, such notion allows to avoid extreme positions both of Positivism and of Romanticism: the culture is not one-sidedly construed of as purely material, rational and collective artifact, and at the same time it is not being reduced to purely individual, irrational, and spiritual expression. Fichte sketched a vision of culture as a real interpersonal sphere. Fichte's heritage, though forgotten, was deeply entrenched in the tradition of German idealism, and is visible also in Marx, however only implicitly in Marxism. Even though Marx himself never wrote about culture per se, he was pursuing theory of knowledge that was both social philosophy and philosophy of culture. And after Kant such philosophy is the only philosophy worth its name.



  • A. Mencwel, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Kultury Polskiej, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 36/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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