How do we explain the fact that certain ideas, at certain moments in time, can have earthshaking effects? Or that some cultures have left an indelible mark while others have not? Why did Jesus, rather than Mani the Mesopotamian, take hold among masses of people? Why did Karl Marx instead of Pierre Proudhon leave his mark on the century? Behind these questions lies the matter of the human need to conserve, hand down, and transmit cultural meanings. Transmitting Culture examines the difference between communication and transmission and argues that ideas and their legacies should be rethought not in terms of "communication" from sender to receiver but of "mediation" by the vectors and messengers of meaning. Transmitting Culture stresses the technologies and institutions long overlooked by philosophy and the human sciences in the study of symbols and signs throughout the history of civilizations.
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Alain Finkielkraut André Leroi-Gourhan angels animal Auguste Cochin become belief Bernard Stiegler biological body Bruno Latour century Christian church collective communication concrete cultural transmission Dan Sperber Debray disciplinary doctrine dynamics effects ethnic ethology evolution fact faith force French function genetic Georges Canguilhem given Homo sapiens human ideas ideologies images individual industrial innovation institution intellectual invention Julia Kristeva kind knowledge language less living logic machines Marcel Mauss material base materialized organization means mechanical mediasphere mediation mediological mediologist memory mental myths nature networks object operative original paradox Paris philosophical Pierre Bourdieu Plato political produced Régis Debray relation relay race religion remains representations reproduction sapiens sciences social society sociology space speak species structure symbolic tech technical techniques technological television territory things tion traces trans transmitted University Press words writing Xenocrates