On Philosophy of Culture- Part 2

Nine: The structure and main chapters of the Philosophy of Culture and the main discussions in this scientific field can be categorized and analyzed around twenty axes, as follows:

Chapter One: Nature of Philosophy of Culture

  • Reviewing the prevailing misconception between the lexical definitions of culture with its particular and ideal definition in Philosophy of Culture;
  • Reviewing the prevailing lexical misconception between the absolute meaning of culture and the meaning we have in mind from the Philosophy of Culture;
  • New concepts and evaluations on old definitions;
  • Presenting the ideal and desirable definition.

Chapter Two: Attributes and Characteristics of Culture

  • Intention behind presenting attributes and characteristics;
  • Difference between attributes and verdicts.

Some Attributes and Characteristics of Culture:

  1. Being humanist and being anti-social;
  2. Having multilayers and multi facets;
  3. Resembling constellations and complicated matters;
  4. Complication and being difficult to be comprehended (due to intermingled layers and labyrinth-like nature;
  5. Being disciplined and systematic;
  6. Being sustainable and long-lasting;
  7. Being subject to change and yet having stable comprising elements;
  8. Being fluid and penetrating in motion amid the entire fields, aspects and products of a society;

Foundations and Logic behind Classification of Attributes and Characteristics of Culture:

  • Re-understanding and evaluation of various paradigms and theories on classifying the attributes and characteristics of culture;
  • Presenting a desirable paradigm for classifying and grouping the attributes and characteristics of culture.

Chapter Three: Logic behind Comprising Elements of Culture

  • What do we mean by “comprising elements”, angels, and “foundations” of culture?
  • Which “comprising elements”, angels, and “foundations” does a culture have?
  • What comprising factors does each element have?
  • Which are the “innate” and the “annexed” elements of a culture? / Which elements, if put together in a combination, can be called a culture, and the absence of which of them would deprive a culture of its real meaning?
  • Are the sciences, technologies, subjects, instruments, symbols, languages, literatures, and…, too, considered comprising factors of the cultures?
  • Are the religions and beliefs, ethical and other values, deeds and behaviors, at any rate parts of the cultures, or are they on condition of being annexed, and considering their annexed identities considered elements of cultures?
  • Reviewing and evaluation of the various paradigms and theories in this field and presenting the ideal viewpoint.

Chapter Four: Geography of Culture

  • What is the geography of a culture?
  • What are the structures and arrangements of various levels, elements and factors of a culture? (What are the portions and relations among various angles, and comprising factors of a culture with each other?)
  • Are there linear, or and interactive and non-linear relations among the “viewpoints”, “characteristics” and “actions” which are the comprising elements of a culture?
  • Is the structure and texture of a culture pyramid-like, resembling a network, or…?
  • What are the effects of the interactions of each of the cultural elements and comprising factors with the other ones on the entire culture?
  • Which conditions and situations lead to attraction and detraction of the elements and comprising factors of a culture?
  • Reviewing and evaluation of the various paradigms and viewpoints and presenting the satisfactory viewpoint.

Point: The answers to some of the questions posed in this chapter can be found in Chapter Seven, on “Rules”.

Chapter Five: Existence of Culture

  • Does culture exist? Is culture something that occurs or does it not yield to occurrence?
  • Is culture a real matter, or does its existence depend on other real matters?
  • Can the existence of culture be proved? (provability of culture)
  • Re-defining and evaluating various viewpoints and presenting our own preferable viewpoints on abovementioned issues.
  • Relation between culture and society; (is the society a “matter” and the culture a “façade”?)

Chapter Six: Phenomenology of Culture

  • Can culture be comprehended and can a culture be thoroughly understood? (Is a culture imaginable?)
  • Is the understanding process of culture systematic?
  • Which are the sources for understanding a culture?
  • Which are the obstacles in the way of understanding a culture?
  • Does a culture have a cognitive function?
  • Surveying and evaluating various viewpoints and presenting our own preferred viewpoint on abovementioned issues.

Chapter Seven: Phenomenology of Cultural Studies

  • Should culture be studied empirically, philosophically, or using both methods?
  • Appropriate methods for studying culture (methods for discovering and comprehending its nature, its attributes, its rules, its typology, its evolutions, and…)
  • What is the method for understanding the nature of a culture (methodology)?

Chapter Eight: Typology of Culture

  • Cultural diversity and multiculturalism (is a culture multifaceted and pluralist?)
  • Which are the indexes for classification of cultures?
  • Specifications of various types of cultures (religious versus secular, pioneer versus follower, advanced versus retarded, major versus minor, and…)?

Chapter Nine: Relations and Interactions among Cultures

  • Which are the four types of relations (similar, equal, absolutely general, and general in a certain way) is correct in comparison of cultures?
  • Are the cultures arrayed in a chronological linear order and they are born from each other, or are their relations sideways and they have interactions with each other?
  • Are the relations among the entire cultures of the same type, or do they each have a particular type of relation with the others?

Chapter Ten: Cultural Obligations

  • Cultural obligation (can a human being exist without a culture?)
  •  Relation between culture and innate nature
  • Relation and interactions between culture and society

Chapter Eleven: Ultimate Phase and Functions of Culture

  • What are the ultimate phases and functions of a culture?

Chapter Twelve: Sources and Origins of Culture

  • What do we mean by “sources” and “origins” of culture?
  • Does the human culture have a supernatural, or a natural source, or is it originated from both? Which one’s role is more prominent?
  • Role of human nature, society, religion, ruling system, elites, geographical habitat, economy, and… in formation and evolutions of the cultures
  • Surveying and evaluation of various viewpoints and presenting our preferred viewpoint on abovementioned issues

Chapter Thirteen: Location of a Culture

  • Which are the relations and interactions between cultures and religions, civilizations, arts, history, security, literature, sciences, logic, sciences, technology, economy, geographical habitats, power, norms, habits, and…? (If the mentioned elements and factors are considered unconditionally)
  • Which is the status of culture in combination with the software that comprises the human life?

Chapter Fourteen: Relation between Culture and Human Sciences

  • Commonalties between culture and human sciences (in such fields as sources, logic, issues, and…)
  • Differences between culture and human sciences
  • Relations and interactions between culture and human sciences; which of the four types of relations exists between culture and the human sciences?
  • Is the chronological order between culture and the human sciences linear, or are they related and have interactions with each other sideways?

Chapter Fifteen: Appropriate and Normative, or Inappropriate and Abnormal

  • Are cultures divided into appropriate and inappropriate, normative and abnormal types?
  • Which are the indexes for good or bad natures of cultures?
  • Are the indexes for the good or bad natures of cultures absolute, or relative?

Chapter Sixteen: Upper of Lower Nature of Cultures

  • Are cultures divided into upper and lower types?
  • Which are the indexes for the upper or lower nature of cultures?

Chapter Seventeen: Being Systematic, or Architectured

  • Is culture systematic?
  • Phenomenology of cultural engineering
  • Differences between engineering of culture and cultural engineering
  • Is engineering of a culture possible? (Role and share of human will in the process of cultural engineering)
  • What are the causes and involved factors in the rise and fall of a culture?
  • Is a culture rule-oriented? (Does the culture act as a ruler all by itself?)
  • What is the meaning of cultural engineering?
  • Is cultural engineering possible?
  • Surveying and evaluation of various viewpoints and presenting our preferred viewpoint on abovementioned issues

Chapter Eighteen: Major Rules of Culture

  • Logic behind discovering and classifying the effective and real rules and regulations in cultures
  • Some of the “effective rules and regulations” in culture
  • Regular process or the rise and fall, the blossoming or downward progress, and being victorious or defeated of a culture
  • Being influential, or influenced of a culture on, or from outside its own structure (a culture has relations and interactions both with the other cultures and with the software that comprise the human life)
  • Inevitable fluid nature of a culture’s internal structure (being purified, or polluted of each comprising factor, or element inevitably affects the other cultural elements and factors as well)

Chapter Nineteen: Studying the Functions of a Culture

  • Logic behind discovering and classifying the functions of culture
  • Surveying some of the functions of culture:
  • Collective identity-generation
  • Generating social solidarity
  • Norm-making and social facilitation (generates new norms and feeling of public acceptance and enthusiasm)
  • Fixation of beliefs, values, and normative, or abnormal behaviors
  • Generating feeling of public security

Chapter Twenty: Futurology

  • Making guesses about the future of the world and the fate of sub-cultures
  • Globalization and culture
  • Philosophy of the promised one’s victorious upraising and the global culture
  • Surveying and evaluation of various viewpoints and presenting our preferred viewpoint on abovementioned issues

Sum Up: We said that a culture is “An intermingled and systematic texture of sustainable viewpoints, attitudes, and behaviors in a certain geographical cradle and a definite time span which has taken form as the collective and second nature of a broad spectrum of people”; therefore, a culture – from its structural point of the view – is a non-scientific matter. We defined the Philosophy of Culture, too, as “A systematic science derived from broadly external-rational study of the general rules of culture”; thus, the Philosophy of Culture is among the annexed philosophies to non-scientific matters, and in the category of primary sciences. The philosophy of Culture is responsible for elaborating, analyzing and finding the reasons and causes of the rules of phenomenology, epistemology, understanding the nature of matters, and… in a culture (from its cultural point of the view), and of its comprising factors and elements (keeping in mind that they are annexed and on condition that they exist); we presented a set of discussions about this science around twenty axes, and although our proposed table of contents is pseudo-deductive, completing and even changing some of its items is not only possible, but also necessary.

Esfand, 1391 (Iranian calendar); March, 2012


  1. This humble researcher has been presenting a series of discussions in the presence of a group of elites from universities and seminary schools about culture, titled “Philosophy of Culture”, which are gradually compiled and prepared for publication by one of the esteemed personalities present at those discussions. Presenting critical viewpoints on this article can assist me in correcting this work’s mistakes and eliminating its shortcomings towards perfection of the discussion. This author appreciates such viewpoints by elite people of letters in advance.

2. I have already focused on the differences between these two scientific apparatuses in an address presented at the First National Conference on Cultural Engineering. That scientific gathering was held in the winter of 2006; interested individuals can see the text of that address, or the full texts of the entire addresses presented at that gathering in this humble researcher’s website: rashad@iict.ac.ir

1 TehranSeminaryprofessorat highest Islamic jurisprudence level (Kharaj-e Faqh), and assistant professor at Islamic Culture and Thought Research Institute