- Published: November 22, 2022
- Updated: November 22, 2022
- University / College: Arizona State University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 29
Both P’Bitek and Rosaldo provide a prospective view of culture as a form of philosophy. The culture norms are formed on the basis of philosophy. P’Bitec believes that culture is “ philosophy as lived and celebrated in a society. According to P’Bitek, human being are not like other non-living things like leaves that only depends on other things like wind to be moved. Human lives in organized groups such as clan and family, kingdom and chiefdom among others which adheres to certain religions. The author stand on culture and philosophy is supported by the fact that culture has principles on the life aspects and about how people perceives and live implying that culture is a social philosophy.
On the other hand, Rosaldo, though not more emphatic, argues that the culture of different inhabitants is the bases and meaning of life. The meaning of life is therefore obtained from culture as a philosophy. His view on culture encompasses that culture is build up of many components of life contrary to other concepts such as politics that emphasizes on one characteristic. Culture is therefore based on the integration of different parameter of life. Culture covers the philosophy nature of life by consisting of sublime, regular, funny and high standpoints.
Bitek suggests that the knowledge of a particular culture is certainly derived from the knowledge of the religion that it is connected with. Perhaps the most essential component of culture is the religion that gives the wide ranging direction of which the people lives. This component is viewed by P’Bitek as a guideline of the community’s conduct of peace and war. Rosaldo bases his argument on the understanding of culture as a self-contained entity that comprises of coherent pattern make up. The self-contained concept tries to stipulate that culture does not separately exist; instead, it is comprised of linkages and combinations. The most important aspect according to Rosaldo is therefore people believe on self contained concept.
On the basis of way of life and conflict commodity, both authors acknowledge that the commodity standpoint of culture has weakened the true spirit of culture. They both refer to culture as a clear principle that cannot be identified as an object, a thing or a commodity. According to P’Bitek the western culture influenced the commodity perception of African culture. P’Bitek believed that “ it was the Romans who turned culture into a thingsomething that can be put in books and museums and art galleries, something which can be taught in schools and universities for examination purposes.” On the other hand Rosaldo does not base his view on culture as a form of art or a thing, he view culture as an all cover everywhere that cannot be quantified.
Rosaldo and P’Bitek both illustrate that culture is a perceived way of life that illustrate an internal philosophy with an internal expression. They both argue that the culture is developed on the basis of internal principle that is formed from conceptualization of life perception not the expression of the external parameters. P’Bitek explained “ discoveries” made by foreigners as external parameters that cannot form the basis of culture. He argues that misinterpretation of culture as an expression of a thing or commodity has diluted the inherent principle of culture that outlines an internal philosophy. However, he portrays how the internal philosophy is externally represented by things, commodity and practices such as drums sold in curio shops to represent a certain culture.
Rosaldo denotes culture as a notion that is subsidiary to human practices in the sense that it draws attention to peoples understanding and way of living. He agrees that culture can be based on internal philosophy that provides guideline to people perspective and perception of life. He explains that material commodities and thing can be used to illustrate a particular culture but cannot used to define that culture. Culture can therefore be described as encompassed system supported by understanding and knowledge that shows how people value their way of living.
In general, both authors tries to have the same standpoint in their views of culture on influence of culture to the existence of human as well as the basic components of culture based on human behavior. Culture is described by the two authors as a tool to govern and understand the life perspective.
Consequently, people can be able to understand or describe the culture of other people on the terms regarding their understanding of their culture. P’Bitek argues that since culture is a form of social philosophy and therefore there should be no clear distinction between culture and philosophy.
Although Rosaldo does not make any philosophical concentrate of culture, his assertions illustrate the ideological and conceptual component of philosophy in culture. He portrays culture as a comprehensive structure through which people live and derive their live perception. In conclusion, the two authors described culture as a framework that governs and gives understanding of how people live. They both disagreed that culture can be described as commodity but can be illustrated by commodities.
Okot P’Bitek. Africa’s Cultural Revolution. S. l.: Macmillan Books For Africa, 2001
Renato Rosaldo. Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. New York: Prentice Hall, 2003
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