The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Ecology and Culture

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Papers to:
Email: Thomas V. Gamkrelidze (Tbilisi)

By its etymological meaning the term "Ecology" denotes the science of "habitat" or "environment". The concept of "environment" has sense if we assume a certain center or central point at which a human being is situated and from where he or she observes this "surrounding" or "environment".

Under this definition of "Ecology" we must ascertain the character of such "surrounding" or "environment": Is this "environment" physical and biological. or properly human, i.e., cultural and social. Accordingly, a distinction must be made between the "Physico-Biological Ecology" and "Cultural-Social Ecology" dealing with the humanitarian aspects of "Ecology", which could be termed "Ecology of Culture". The latter is concerned with a human being not as a biological object subjected to the influence of the physical world, but as a social-cultural entity which establishes definite relations with the human environment and which is affected by this or that social surrounding. At meetings devoted to "Ecology" our attention is usually focused entirely on "Physico-Biological Ecology", with an almost total disregard for problems of the "Ecology of Culture".

All these questions belong to the sphere of the "Ecology of Culture" and special scholarly symposiums should be convened devoted to the discussion of global cultural-ecological problems, in order to work out relevant recommendations and basis scientific principles of the "Ecology of Culture". Along with the "Physico-Biological Ecology", the latter should form a general Ecological Discipline which may be called "Ecology of Human Society".