Transmitting Culture

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 2000 - Philosophy - 157 pages
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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Contents

THE MEDIUMS TVO BODIES
1
Organized Matter and Materialized Organization
11
CROSSROADS OR DOUBLE HELIX? 2
21
THE EXACT SCIENCE OF ANGELS
31
FAULT LINES
45
DISCIPLINARY NAPERIALISMS
79
WAYS OF DOING
99
A Disciplinary Proviso
117
Notes
127
Bibliography
141
Index
149
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Régis Debray is professor of philosophy in the Faculté de Lettres at the Université de Lyon III. Founder and editor of Les Cahiers de médiologie, former aide to president François Mitterand, erstwhile associate of Che Guevara, and captive cause célèbre in Bolivia (1967--1970), he is the author of numerous books, including Media Manifestos: On the Technological Transmission of Cultural Forms; Charles de Gaulle: Futurist of the Nation; Against Venice; Revolution in the Revolution?; and Teachers, Writers, Celebrities: The Intellectuals of Modern France. His political memoir, Blessed Be Our Gods, is forthcoming.

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