Analysis of the Human Cultural Identity


This paper is intended to contain the analysis of the human cultural
identity, as seen in the following five historical cultural periods:
Enlightenment Culture; Greco-Roman Culture; Judeo-Christian Culture;
Renaissance-Reformation Culture; and Industrialization-Modernism Culture. It
also embodies examples of each era that are clearly stated, and how they relate
to the cultural period.

The cultural identity of the Enlightenment can be described as emphasizing
the possibilities of human reason. This idea can be illustrated with such
examples as Thomas Jefferson, Denis Diderot, and Protestantism. Thomas
Jefferson was considered among one of the most brilliant American exponents of
the Enlightenment culture. He had the time and the resources to educate himself
in many topics including history, literature, law, architecture, science, and
philosophy. He had the motivation and the connections to apply Enlightenment
political philosophy to nation-building. Denis Diderot was a French
encyclopedist and philosopher, who also composed plays, novels, essays, and art.
He greatly influenced other Enlightenment thinkers with his translations of
Encyclopedie ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers,
usually known as Encyclopedie. He used this translation as a powerful
propaganda weapon against Ecclesiastical authority, and the semifeudal social
reforms of the time. Protestantism is a good example also. It is one of the
three major divisions of Christianity. It displays the release of traditional
religion and the movement to worldly learning and the rise of protests against
the controlled way of expressing one\'s self. It allows the human himself to
reason out the way that he thinks, instead of an authority telling him how to do
so therefore, extending his mind.

The Industrialism-Modernism culture is a culture that represents social,
economical, and scientific advancement, as well as self-doubt, uncertainty, and
alienation. These traits can be characterized with such examples as Werner
Heisenberg, Epicureanism, and Eli Whitney. Werner Heisenberg was a German
physicist known especially for his development in quantum mechanics and his
principle of indeterminacy, or theory of uncertainty. This theory explained how
it is impossible to know specifically the position and momentum of a particle,
an electron for example, with accuracy. This demonstrates the distinctive
uncertainty of the culture. It created a strong trend of mysticism among
scientists who perceive it as a violation to cause and effect laws.
Epicureanism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Greek philosopher
Epicuris. His views coincide with those of Heisenberg in the way that they
display the incertitude of how it is impossible to know exactly what things will
do or go. In example, he suggested that even atoms are free to move around
spontaneously, without order. Any invention or its inventor would fit nicely
into this cultural topic. Eli Whitney, for instance, and the cotton gin. This
invention was one of the most important, it created a very substantial movement
in history. Whitney used scientific knowledge to produce a machine that
produced economic progress along with the advancement of less manual labor, and
more production for sales.

The Greco-Roman culture is one of a male dominant society, and conflicting
obedience views. The idea was that men were controlled by reason, and women
were controlled by passion, and that if women were not controlled by the
practical reasoning men, that disastrous consequences would occur. The male
prevalence in this civilization was evident in all perspectives of life
including the arts that were created during this time period. For instance, the
women were portrayed as clothed, mysterious, and deviant looking and the men as
nude, perfected, and authoritative. This philosophical belief, was taken to the
absolute extreme. Men were in a sense, afraid, of the disastrous situations
that women might create if given the chance to do so. Hellenism and Hebraism
are other Greek philosophies that deal with the ideas of how to think and act.
Hellenism is the stressing to “see things as they really are”, “ right
thinking, reasoning for oneself, and Hebraism is the stressing of “conduct and
obedience”, “right acting”, and obeying God\'s commandments. These two
conflicting views were struggled with by every individual.

The Judeo-Christian culture is one of holy relics, gothic and Romanesque
styles, and architectural advances. The holy relics were used to establish a
higher status among churches. Such tokens as John the Baptist\'s head could be
found in the cathedrals across the civilizations. Another way to achieve status
for a church was to build the tallest facility that was possible. The idea was
that the bigger the church, the better. This led to styles such as Gothic and
Romanesque. The best example of the gothic form is Chartres. The cathedral
used advances like the pointed arch and ribbed vault. The