Frederic Will
Pages 123-134
DOI: 10.5840/cultura20129125


Being part of a culture seems, on the face of it, empirically describable, and verifiable. But in fact that kind of participation is not so easy to characterize. Our existence as members of a culture is given to us fleetingly, and in awarenesses tightly locked to the awareness of the other, who is not our culture. Being part of a culture therefore is part of knowing yourself as limited. But to what are you limited? You are limited to being a presence other than that of the other that you are defined off against. It is thus worth noting that being of a culture is a fleetingly given awareness of a condition in which your not being something else is what defines you. The logical consequence of this structural situation is that you, or I, exist foremost as a site, rather than as a substance, in our occupying a post within culture.