chapter  22
Culture: A recursive process: Wolfgang Iser
Pages 14

It is only recently that culture has become a focus of study, and one might ask

why this should have happened. Is it perhaps due to the waning influence of

religion in the West and a growing distrust in metaphysics, which in the past

had either determined or explained human life? Religious beliefs situate the

human being in a world related to what is to come, making present reality into

a kind of testing ground for future rewards and punishments. Metaphysics

speculates on the nature of being, the specificity of human nature, and how it is

related to the existing world. However, culture as the latest target area in the

study of humankind trains our gaze on both the need and the capacity of

human beings to build their own world. In this sense, a study of culture becomes

a mirror of the human condition.