Culture and Its Irreducible Pluralities
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Preview: Culture is the relentless, never-ending process of symbolic formations, transformations and reconfigurations. This statement, as trivial as it is, means that culture is a certain ontological excess whose nature lies in its arti- and trans-factuality, in the modes of its self-differentiation, in the inherent indeterminacy of its meanings, as well as in its historicality. Culture arises out of the creative act of distance toward pure factuality, out of negation of “purely” empirical data, of pure immediacy, of what “simply happens.” It lays structural and functional foundations for what is given. It arranges the environment we live in into a meaningful functional unity, into the dynamic structure of significant relations which provides us with basic coordinates for our existential orientation as well as for our practical and theoretical endeavors. In this sense it is a certain apriorical horizon for all possible meanings. Each phenomenon, each fact always appears within this horizon, that is, it is its articulation, and its actualization. They do so not as something separate or isolated, but rather as something expressive of – to use the Heideggerian idiom – the totality of signification implied by that very horizon.
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