The Artificial Enclave: Redefining Culture


This article offers a new definition of culture which hinges on what we consider to be its most distinctive feature, namely its artificiality. Our definition enables us to resolve some of the main issues and controversies involved in the concept of culture and its course of development. We argue that the large human brain played a revolutionary role in inverting the course of natural adaptation of the human species. This dramatic turnabout allowed humans to set their own conditions of existence in their created environment; and one which unlike nature they were able to shape and dominate. We demonstrate the crucial part of language not merely in communication but in forming a web of meaningful symbols which gave rise to the human spiritual or metaphysical world. We depict human society as an unparalleled elaborate web of relationships which gave hominids an advantage over other species from the very beginning.


brain, environment, evolution, inverse adaptation, society, symbols, tools

How to cite:

Gedi, Noa and Yigal Elam. “The Artificial Enclave: Redefining Culture.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 1 (2020): 70-87. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0007.


Noa Gedi (corresponding author)
Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel

Yigal Elam (Professor Emeritus)
The Multidisciplinary Studies Program
Sapir Academic College, Israel


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