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Towards the World Culture Society

Florian Znaniecki’s Culturalism


Elzbieta Halas

If the new cultural sociology is to gain firm grounds, it should rediscover the classic studies on cultural dynamics and cultural systems. This book contributes to a better understanding of Florian Znaniecki as an eminent culturologist and the lasting relevance of his theory of cultural becoming. Znaniecki opted for a humanistic approach that he called culturalism. Culturalism, founded on the principle of the humanistic coefficient, is applied also to the cultural person. The concept of social values makes this cultural approach an original one. The cultural logic and cultural ethos of Znaniecki’s thought is inherent in the very principle of a creative evolution of culture, augmenting his vision of a new civilization of the future and a world culture society.


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Preface / 11


Alluding to contemporary preoccupation with reflexive modernity, aVected by the grandiose growth of knowledge which in turn influences cultural and social processes, one may say that it is a problematic reflexivity as long as the principles of cultural be- coming – to use Florian Znaniecki’s notion – are not suYciently studied. Znaniecki believed that the dependence of cultural order on natural order is not only shrinking, but the reverse is taking place. An increasing influence of culture on nature and the rising complexity of cultural phenomena render the naturalistic approach in social and cultural sciences completely invalid. A renewed reception of the works of this master of contemporary thought may be facilitated by the cultural turn which has actually occurred in the last decades and which prepares suitable frameworks for a better welcome of Znaniecki’s ideas. If the new cultural sociology is to gain firm grounds, it should rediscover the classic studies on cultural dynamics, such as those conducted by Znaniecki. The unfavorable conditions that blurred Znaniecki’s influence on the twentieth century sociology and culturology are investigated in this book and a critical, penetrating overview of his contribution to cultural sociology and cultural sciences is presented. Znaniecki belongs to the eminent figures of the twentieth century humanities. It is worthwhile to examine the heritage of this scholar from a contemporary perspective, reflecting upon the principle of the humanistic coeYcient of cultural phenomena on which Znaniecki’s theory is founded. On the background of theoretical controversies in the...

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