Abstract

Terada, "Introduction"

The introduction traces a brief genealogy of the concept of culture. The vacillation between a learned, deliberate sense of culture and the contemporary notion of a looser and more spontaneous sense of culture is figured through Schiller’s notion that even the ancient Greeks’ notion of deliberate training contained something less deliberate. It is suggested that the papers gathered here gain perspective from Romantic (and sometimes pre- and post-Romantic) elaborations of the ways in which manifestations of individuality, interiority, particularity, and privacy may coalesce quite tenuously to express aspects of collectivity. Despite recent suspicions about the closeness between the concepts of race and culture, culture emerges as a network of habits, ideas, and affinities that can provide leverage against naturalized identity thinking. A philosophically informed concept of culture precludes the collapse of culture into identity. This essay appears in _Philosophy and Culture_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.