Friday, March 11, 2011

Cultural Capital II

Some further thoughts on cultural capital, looking at what Mises says about economic capital:

"Capital is a praxeological concept. It is a product of reasoning, and its place is in the human mind. It is a mode of looking at the problems of acting, a method of appraising them from the point of view of a definite plan. It determines the course of human action and is, in this sense only, a real factor." (Human Action, 515)
But of course, in the case of cultural capital, there is less of a material content to it than for economic capital goods. There are of course physical objects: art works, books, etc. But their value is not in their physicality, but in their being absorbed into some human mind. There is thus a continued feedback between the physical object and the human minds in a particular culture, which constitutes cultural capital. In this sense, it is doubly "in the human mind." It informs cultural creators as they create their own works. It is thus a product of their reasining, a mode of looking at the problem of acting to create a new cultural work, a method of appraising that work from the point of view of a definite plan. The cultural creator cannot act without cultural capital -- and the more cultural capital one has, the more likely one is going to create a complex work that fits into the culture's artistic order.

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