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Do all people have culture? Can we have knowledge that is independent of culture?

I believe that all people have culture being the way we are raised etc. I also believe that all knowledge comes from some particular culture and that therefore there is no knowledge that doesn't come from culture. I would like to ask people what their opinions are on this and if we can have knowledge without culture? and whether they think all people have culture. As I am writing an essay and need counterclaim examples to my essay.

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    May 8 2012: Knowledge is knowledge. It is independent of culture. If I drop a ball it will fall to the ground no matter what culture I come from.

    How we frame and give meaning to knowledge is very dependent on culture. Our world view is framed by our culture and language. Language is an expression of culture and also reflects worldview.

    So in one culture the ball falls to the ground because of gravity, and in another culture it falls because the earth reclaims all that is hers. In either culture the ball still falls to the ground.

    So as a person that moves between cultures, it is important to understand the worldview and meaning to correctly discuss the ball. It would be disrespectful and ridiculous if you did not. You would not be able to establish trust or communication if you could not frame your discussion within the culture you are seeking to understand.
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    May 8 2012: Even chimps have culture as is with every society where members learn from each other.
    However culture isn't the same as knowledge.
    Any individual can have knowledge outside their culture.
    Culture is the way things are done and the way we behave along with any expression of it. It is more or less language dependent.
    Knowledge can be very personal next to common knowledge on which all members agree but doesn't need to be true knowledge. Shared knowledge or needs among groups within a society can lead to subcultures that have their own expression.
    So all people have culture and most people have knowledge independent on culture.
    • May 8 2012: Interesting way of thinking mr. Kellner.
      To a certain level I agree with you but I must add that there is something missing according to me.
      Knowledge, at least certain knowledge, can indeed be independent of culture. However, the way we use that knowledge and the way we speak about it is not. This is most visible in the study of history. Here independent knowledge would be the 'cold, hard' facts like an event or a date or something similar. Culture however will play a significant part in how we will interpret this knowledge. The most dominant form of historical study is that of a European standard-history where everything is measured by the standard of Europe. This may not be as visible as I make it sound but it is the truth.
      So 'true' knowledge can be independent but the way it is spoken of or the way it is applied is always culture based.
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        May 8 2012: To share any personal knowledge it is necessary to formulate this in a way that is commonly understood. It has to be transferred by any language whether this is body language or spoken.
        Often if the receiver misses the capacity to imagine the message in the proper way this leads to miscommunication.

        An example can be westerners that explored different cultures and concluded that they venerated different God's of all kinds while the truth was that those peoples had no image of a God like the westerner held for granted. Those people where in awe of forces and concepts that has more to do with what we can think of as the spiritual foundation of the world they experienced.

        European history is like all history it's different altogether from the perspective of Scandinavia as from that of a Greek. There are points that converge over time but followed a very different route.
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    May 8 2012: Context is vital and the way we construct our view of the world is intimately tied with our personal experiences.

    You'll be best to clearly define what is meant by knowledge.

    Already, in this thread, there are obviously different interpretations of what knowledge is.
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    May 31 2012: When a North American reads a journal article from a researcher in Holland (where a lot of good stuff is being done) or China, I think the world is getting a lot closer to knowledge indpendent or culture. The format itself dissuades the inclusion of culture- BUT - we are all soakedand formed in it so even so it sometimes leaks through but scientists are pretty good at ignoring it.
  • May 12 2012: WOW thank you very much for all your replies! Especially Linda Taylor, that example with the ball really helped me understand things better.

    However now I would like to ask, do you think that beliefs are independent or dependent of culture?

    I think that beliefs are dependent on culture because all people have culture and all people have different beliefs and our beliefs help us interpret knowledge for example whether we believe the ball drops because of gravity or because earth is reclaiming it.