PRESENT HUMANITIES: CRITICAL
Present humanities are not conscious of the importance of space. -> Anthropological space theorem. If Bollnow's anthropology of space is taken as a theoretical basis, this rises many critical questions against the conventional structure, methods and results of the humanities.
BOLLNOW'S MAIN ARGUMENTS
- The perception of vast cosmic spaces was culturally a very late development
- Space perception is an evolutionary process which originated in -> Prehistorical habitat
- Primary space perception is polar -> Polarity theorem
THE BASIC RESULTS OF ARCHITECTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
- Constructive evolution was fundamental for culture (man the builder). It provided the structural models ('structura') for ideological concepts in the sense of a modified 'Structural Anthropology'
- Primary materials and techniques were fibroconstructive
- The hand was the first tool
- Nests defined the nocturnal habitat in the subhuman domain -> Subhuman habitat
- Semantic architecture' defined the early human habitat and provided a structural model for the perception and formation of the early environmental world
- Prehistorical structural conditions of the habitat produced structural continuities into the modern urban world
-> Amerlinck 1996, Egenter 1995, Egenter 1996.
- If we assume that fibroconstructive object culture, in particular 'semantic architecture' was widespread in prehistorical settlement-culture, the archaeological method would appear as highly speculative: it reconstructs prehistory with an irrelevant 1-10% of the factual objective culture.
- If we further assume that in prehistorical settlement cultures fibroconstructive signs, or 'semantic architecture' was of highest ontological value, the durable objects found by the archaeological method would in fact be very insignificant (rubbish).
- If it is further assumed that fibroconstructive material culture, in particular 'semantic architecture' was the objective model of structural developments or cognitive processes related to the habitat, or, more explicitly, was the factual promoter of cultural evolution, then the archaeological method will never be able to reconstruct processes of cultural evolution: the sources of this evolution were not durable.
- In the light of such conceptions the archaeologist's fixation on the historical standpoint reveals a medievalistic anachronism, which in fact produces misleading concepts (toolmaker). The factual evolution of culture has to be reconstructed ethno-(pre-) historically.
ARCHITECTURE, ART, SYMBOLS, TERRITORIAL SIGNS
Similar to conventional archaeology and prehistory, habitat research attributes great importance to material culture, but it does not search merely for casual durable remains, but chooses a highly valued type of object culture as the main carrier of prehistorical cultural development (-> settlement core complex) which is reconstructed ethno-(pre-)historically. Though not made with durable materials, it forms the ritually renewed nucleus of an evidently very ancient territorial institution This institution, which we find universally related to settlements used primarily fibroconstructive signs and symbols for the spatial, social and political organisation of the habitat. The central object of this research is thus a phenomenon universally known, paradoxically described by the history (life-tree etc), folklore (maypoles etc) and ethnology (fetish, idol etc.) of religion, but not really researched objectively, because - in the view of religion - its materiality contradicted with the scholastic theological concept of an absolutely spiritual dimension. It was therefore considered primitive and was devalued in spite of its high values in the local worldview (ontology).
Objectively: fetish, idol, historically life-tree, telae etc: semantic architecture. relations to art, aesthetics, semiotics, symbol research,
European history is prejudiced by three characteristics:
In particular Bollnow's anthropological concept of space critically questions important domains of historical interpretation.
- Disciplinary facetted outlook. Disciplines are a late development in European thought. In early history or prehistory they cover up (or dissect) the essential complexities (constitutional character of early cultures)
- Medieval scholasticism. Using mainly Neoplatonism, later Aristorelian analytics, scholasticism transformed an ancient Near Eastern state constitution into a spiritual constitution (against the Franconian worldly powers). This basically political development had great impact on European thought (splitting into ->Natural sciences and 'Spiritual' sciences [as the humanities are called in German]), but, since cultural phenomena in early cultural stages and non-European cultures are relational between objective and spiritual, facts are either idealised or materialised which often greatly distorts the factual reality.
- Analytical (differentiating) method of scientific thought. The historistic interpretation of science considers analytical reasoning as a high European achievement. But, since most social phenomena are of a relationistic character, it distorts objective facts rather than clarifies them (social anthropology, art, religion, non-European cultures).
- Myths, for instance, would have to be interpreted more from environmental conditions of early habitats: were they descriptions of preceding 'primitive' (or prehistoric) territorial rites, which factually were early local constitutions?
- In the framework of Bollnow's anthropological concept of space 'creation' myths would loose their anachronistic content of a modern spatial interpretation, would gain their factual meaning as local constitutions (-> cosmos and cosmetics).
HISTORY OF NON-EUROPEAN CULTURES
ETHNOLOGY / FOLKLORE STUDIES
GLOSSARY OF CRITICAL TERMS
This glossary will be continuously completed, further critical terms being added from all disciplines of the humanities. Brackets (..) indicate that the terms are related to this critical survey. Terms without brackets are related to the interpretation of -> Habitat Theory of Culture.
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