A Materialist Concept of Culture

  • Mario Bunge
Part of the Episteme book series (EPIS, volume 9)


The very existence of culture has long been regarded as a challenge to materialism or even a refutation of it. How could a sonata, a poem, a theorem or a theory be regarded as a material entity? Most materialists have responded to the challenge by granting more or less tacitly that a culture is substantially different from material objects and have added that, notwithstanding, culture is determined by material factors such as the environment and the economy. However, the very admission that culture is not material is suicidal for the materialist. And what is the point of being a materialist with regard to matter but a dualist with regard to culture? I shall not adopt the economy-culture duality and shall construct instead a materialist concept of culture consistent with the full-blooded materialist ontology sketched in Chapter 2. But before doing so we shall have to remove a terminological hurdle.


Cultural System Equivalence Relation Cultural Activity Cultural Production Cultural Object 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Bunge
    • 1
  1. 1.Foundations and Philosophy of Science UnitMcGill UniversityCanada

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