ISSN 2227-7242 (Print), ISSN 2304-9685 (Online)

Антропологічні виміри філософських досліджень, 2019, Вип. 16

Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, 2019, NO 16




UDC 130.2:179.9


1*Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology (Maoming, China), e-mail,
ORCID 0000-0001-6126-1747
2*National Pedagogical Dragomanov University (Kyiv, Ukraine), e-mail, ORCID 0000-0003-0584-933X
3*Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Kharkiv, Ukraine), e-mail, ORCID 0000-0003-4610-908X



Purpose. The aim of the article is to clarify the content of the concept of culture as an explication of vitality within the philosophy of life and its further modifications in current problems of contemporary. The analysis performed standing from the point, that contrasting of nature and culture is irrelevant, since culture does not contradict natural determinants and patterns, but rather qualitatively alters them. So, are justified the idea of culture as a phenomenon that exist accordingly and in proportion to nature, need to form its potential and content and not contradict the axioms and values of life. Theoretical basis. In the theoretical field of philosophy of life, the local development of the problem of culture as an explication of vitality produces grounds for analytical and prognostic activity concerning meaningful transformations in a separate historical and social horizon. The fundamental categories of culture: spirit, value, symbol, freedom, justice and harmony receive the requested content and meaning. The idea of the constancy and super-naturality of cultural universals is illusory and dangerous. The consequences of such a "non-cosmological" justification of freedom and will, and the assertion of values, that contradict the logic of life, are the global environmental, economic and social crisis of our time. Originality. The originality of the authors’ thought lies in the interpretation of the essence of culture as an explication of vitality, as a logical and natural extension of life. In this formulation of the problem of culture, the possibility of reconciling the natural, social and value determinants of human life is formed. Theorists of the philosophy of life substantiated the primacy and supremacy of the values of life over the values and meanings of culture. The position of authors position consists in the need to understand culture as an environmentally appropriate and dimensional phenomenon, the content and strategies of which are determined by a single ontology. Conclusions. The analysis let authors understand the voluntarily chaotic element of life. Culture in its philosophical analysis took on a clearer anthropomorphic dimension: the immanent logic of being in substantiating the essence and purpose of man and the value of his being localized the universe of transcendence in the concept of "living world", "inhabited space", "human, too human". Accordingly, the range of cultural evaluations has been polarized: from the approving statement of its vital essence, to the disparaging calls for its reform. The chaotic state of voluntarily acts is transformed into cultural codes and stereotypes by rationalization. The modern global nature of crisis phenomena, both in the worldview, in the social, and in the ecological dimension, requires reformatting the understanding of culture as a continuation of nature, and not its antipode.

Keywords: vitality; value; reflection; symbol; myth; truth; culture


A new era is producing a new way of understanding the human way of being. Other motives and factors are decisive in explaining the human essence. Non-classical approaches to understanding the metaphysical bases of culture actualize the desire to explain the world of human being on the basis of its value determinants and orientations.

The philosophy of life as a particular area of intellectual research focuses on the critique of the primacy of rationality and reduction of human essence solely to the analytics of thinking. Not truth is the basis of human being, but its motivational-expressive nature. In this perspective, truth loses its status of undeniable ontological value. Likewise, delegitimization extends to other axiological priorities: good, justice, harmony, purpose, and measure − the meaning of these concepts is dispersed in localized problem fields and opposing systems of subjects’ interests and aspirations. Therefore, the question of the nature or essence of culture, its relation to life and the organic world is updated. The authors research takes into account the fact, that revision of the content of the concept of culture would offer the series of methodological approaches for the researches in the field of philosophy and cosmology (Dobroskok, 2019; McGraw Jr, 2017), social theories and ones’ subsequent interpretations for solving of the modern issues in political studies (Balinchenko, 2019; Eliopoulos, 2019; Yakushik, 2018), education ones (Bazaluk, Fatkhutdinov, & Svyrydenko, 2018; Savenkova, & Svyrydenko, 2018). The latest historical and philosophical research, which reveal new dimensions of the philosophy of the Modern era, have significant heuristic potential (Khmil, & Malivskyi, 2017), etc.


The aim of the article is to clarify the content of the concept of culture as an explication of vitality within the philosophy of life and its further modifications. Accordingly, the thought of contrasting nature and culture is irrelevant, since culture does not contradict natural determinants and patterns, but rather qualitatively alters them. Today’s global environmental, economic and social challenges require the formation of a different content of the phenomenon of culture, the formulation of such strategies of activity that will be environmentally friendly. Accordingly, interpretations of culture in the philosophy of life not just illustrate the fallacy of the classical approach to its understanding, but also open up the dynamics of its historical and social projections, which are acquired in the present as crisis.

Statement of basic materials

Analytics of culture has a meaningful and long-lasting tradition that dictates the logic of its interpretation and research. Russian researcher Svetlana Turovskaia upholds a stable tradition of understanding philosophy as the main tool of cultural reflection:

The fostering of reflective thinking associated with the study of philosophy enables us to become aware of ourselves as subjects of culture and history, that is, it recreates the fullness of human life by organically including in it not only values comprehended by reason but also the entire layer of prejudices that in many ways constitute the space of everyday life, of existence in the world of human beings and things. (Turovskaia, 2003, р. 86)

Another purpose of philosophy is seen by Chinese researcher Shulin Chen (2008). She is convinced that the theoretical aim of the philosophy of culture is to criticize and reconstruct the cultural patterns and symbols that underlie them:

In fact, past philosophers tried to show what man was through such concepts or categories as rationality, spirit, nature, practice and history. In other words, they projected man on to rationality, spirit, nature, society, organic life, practice and history, stimulating such philosophical schools as rationalism, phenomenology of spirit, natural philosophy, evolution, vitalism, life philosophy, existentialism, practical philosophy, and the philosophy of history. However, all these categories are inadequate in their own ways in the face of cultural symbolic forms. (Chen, 2008, р. 167)

However, she does not overlook those factors of human life that are problematically formalized into symbolic forms:

Man’s life is lived more through imagination, passions, hopes and ideals than through direct needs, wants and other instinctive desires, or pure reason… Philosophy of culture rejects the ontological construction of man in the metaphysical sense, but acknowledges that man’s ideals and imagination surpass reality. It is by imagination that man breaks the bounds of his instincts and carries out symbolic cultural creation. (Chen, 2008, р. 172)

On the other hand, the inherent philosophies of high-order speculation require clear specification and clarification. The problem of interconnection and cooperation between nature and culture is in interest to researchers from the era of the emergence of philosophical discourse specificity.

However, in the last few centuries, and especially for decades, the interest in the organic phenomenon of culture has been steadily increasing. Thus, Dominique Lestel is convinced that the problem of the phylogeny of culture is the focus of the problems of the cognitive sciences:

The question of the phylogenesis of culture has been posed differently since the development of the cognitive sciences. The biology/social behavior relation is still seen here or there in the perspective of the gene/behavior relation but it is seen more and more in that of the gene/cognition/behavior relation. The phylogenesis of behavior is thus inscribed in a filiation of the second degree. (Lestel, 2014, р. 105)

Note that any branching and extension of the problematic field of study is risky in terms of performance. It is natural that philosophical discourse implies a systematic implementation and realization. Some authors call the following prerequisites for the systemic nature of contemporary philosophy of culture: total modernization and the corresponding evolutionary logic of culture, the cultural logic of globalization and the formation of "world culture" as a metacultural form, the universalization of the logic of cultural development as an ontological experience. Defining philosophy as a mediator of cultural values is both innovative and promising:

Philosophy’s universal cultural value in the cultural system determines its transcendental position in culture. Thanks to its structural meaning and systemic role, philosophy is no more an ordinary field or sphere of culture, but its spirit and soul. To borrow a concept from Imre Lakatos, we can regard philosophy as the "hard core" of culture. In terms of function, philosophy is the manager of culture and communicator of cultural values − a role that is indeed necessary for the integration of culture after its division into different fields. In this sense, philosophy links itself with the world through the medium of culture. (Ding, 2008, р. 149)

Therefore, the problem of defining culture as an explication of vitality is timely and universal to the contemporary world community. The first so-called "organismal" approach to culture is justified by Arthur Schopenhauer. In his universal concept of world will, culture is understood as a form of vitality, morphology and modeling of which can acquire different norms of expression. A. Schopenhauer introduces a voluntary component into the discourse of the phenomenon of culture. And here is an interesting dialectic: universal, global, or objective will is revealed to human understanding in the course of socialization, education and inculturation. But the closest thing that is available to human consciousness is the manifestation of individual, subjective will. And it is this aspect of willpower that the author seeks to substantiate as a significant factor in the dynamics of culture.

Every thing, every being endowed with an inner will to live, respectively, culture is a space of self-realization of the subjective powers of individuals, the ground upon which the fruits of human subjectivity grow. Such an interpretation of the logic of the formation and development of culture implies an emphasis on the importance of psychological factors: character, faith, suffering, inner feeling. Accordingly, a person has the opportunity to reveal the peculiarities of his soul only in culture, and having such an empirical experience of self-knowledge and self-realization, to reach universal knowledge about the principles of the universe. That is, in order to know the world, one must know oneself, get to know other people, feel and emotionally experience the process of interaction with the world, to fill with content abstract conceptualizations of culture. And it is the experience of "living" culture that forms the necessary argumentative basis for the verification of value to significance, serves as a criterion for differentiating true value from illusory.

This opinion is shared by Günter Zöller: analyzing the problem of realization of human activity, mentioned author refers to the Schopenhauer’s heritage of the study of this problem in the field of general epistemology, metaphysics, general practical philosophy, the doctrine of law and the doctrine of virtue:

In the perspective of Schopenhauer’s account of the will’s pervasive, though often clandestine presence throughout nature and culture, the human mind – more specifically, the cognitive mind or the intellect – is but a developmental product of the outward manifestation ("objectification") of the will. As the most refined such product, the intellect, moreover, according to Schopenhauer, is capable of distancing itself from its ultimate basis in the will, thereby increasingly severing the cognitive from the conative, the intellectual from the volitional, the theoretical from the practical. Originally entirely in the service of the will, the intellect in Schopenhauer comes to assume the position of a countervailing cognitive force to the will’s generally prevailing sheer volitional force. (Zöller, 2018, р. 119)

After all, Schopenhauer’s radicalism in interpreting action and desires that prompt it is to justify irrational will and ethical inaction. A. Schopenhauer considers the true value of life and all that it contributes to: health, safety, self-knowledge and compassion, self-control and balance. Therefore, the philosopher warns against the inadvertent perception of everything that broadcasts historical memory and cultural tradition. There is a revolutionary shift in emphasis in the understanding of culture: it can be as dangerous as nature itself. So we also face a paradox: the introduction of philosophical analytics into the culture of the concept of value raises the question of the status or degree of value of culture as a whole. In addition, understanding culture as the objectivity of the rational, social and historical is transformed into an individual-personal paradigm of definition. And it is not about the figure of genius, like the German classics, subjectivity itself becomes of paramount importance in the new philosophy. Does culture (as a field of explication of creative energy or human wills) has one’s generic characteristic, attributive and substantive? Or accidentally acquired in planetary racing for the survival of the species? Ryan Gunderson (2016) argues that consumer society, by its very existence, refutes the Freudian principle of explaining dissatisfaction as an obstacle to the realization of desires. That is why Schopenhauer’s opinion about the enduring status of suffering from human life is actualized. Discontent as an organic attribute of conscious life was first actualized by Schopenhauer. The thinker is known to have provided the necessary cosmological justification for this phenomenon, but the social ontology in verifying the concepts of dissatisfaction and work as meaningful components of human life was not only groundbreaking but also prophetic. Thus, exactly this thinker substantially and consistently substantiated the correlation of the concepts of

The ideas of Schopenhauer had a significant impact on the content and specificity of philosophical searches of Friedrich Nietzsche. Considering a person as a "sick animal", an outstanding provocateur calls culture the result of the action of effective adaptation mechanisms, the product of volition, not of reason or providence. In general, the author considered rationality for the development of culture to be detrimental, because symbolism, the ideological core of culture, does not contain sufficient potential to express the completeness and contradiction of life. Fundamental to the reflection of the essence of culture is its activity aspect, as an algorithmization of ways to express the activity of the subject.

The cornerstones of the classical tradition of cultural analytics: rationalism, humanism, and history are proclaimed myths that masterfully limit individual consciousness. The power of influence of these myths is based on the spread and speculation of the phenomenon of values. Therefore, the irrational-creative beginning of human essence is proclaimed by the philosopher equivalent to intellectual-speculative activity, forming in unity a dialectical pair of verification of the phenomenon of culture. And in this dialectic of energy and form, cause and effect, values and illusions for man opens the space of freedom, the opportunity to choose between living in a "maze" of other people’s thoughts and meanings (so-called "cultural crutches"), or to create objects and meanings separately without relying on the Ariadne’s thread. Vinod Acharya is convinced that Nietzsche’s cultural analyst is an attempt to put up with the upheavals triggered by the Socratic turn in the cultural environment, as well as the attempt to affirm a higher standard of culture: author writes, that metaphysics is meaningful as the focus of the purpose of human life, it "… is interested only in questions of utility regarding the purpose of life, to which it subordinates the search for knowledge" (Acharya, 2015, р. 20).

In this concept, culture is opposed to a chaotic and unsubstantiated flow of life, devoid of transcendental meaning and purpose. The energy of life is the energy of will, desire and inspiration. Culture, however, teaches to curb desires, to carefully choose aspirations, and to limit freedom through morality. All these virtues are called Nietzsche deception, which, through education, enslaves people and turns them into a managed flock. The Platonic-Hegelian paradigm of culture actualizes the rational and moral in determining the essence of man, which is in accordance with the Apollo principle of culture. There is a catastrophic lack of Dionysian origin, intuitively instinctive, naturally immediate, transgressive. The Dionysian principle of culture is a parish of the rationality of a myth capable of expressing the objectivity of life. Myth is syncretic, combining all the contradictory manifestations of becoming a life, without moralizing and training. After all, the main value is not morality, but life with immanent good, evil, love and hatred. Such a polymorphism of human life in the culture, Donald Rutherford cites as justification Nietzschean perfectionism, as a value perspective of "noble type", which can be formed by the revaluation of all values:

Preserving a role for ideals in Nietzsche’s philosophy requires that a distinction be drawn among different types of ideals. In the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche attacks what he qualifies as "ascetic ideals": value standards that are predicated on a denial of bodily drives and appetites. Such drives and appetites are fundamental to life, yet from the perspective of ascetic ideals they are an impediment to the realization of higher human ends. An ascetic ideal, in general, advances an image of human beings as better off for the denial of bodily appetites. As a result of their suppression, it is supposed, we are able to become more rational, more virtuous, more divine. (Rutherford, 2018, р. 56)

This line of interpretation of Nietzschean philosophy is followed by David Rowthorn, who considers Nietzschean culture to be a universal affair that involves the self-improvement of every person:

Nietzsche is an elitist in the sense that he advocates the maintenance of an elite composed of great individuals, where maintenance entails other members of society making sacrifices to help maximise the achievements of the elite. He is not, however, what we might call a political elitist. The elite are part of a structure whose servants are willing participants. (Rowthorn, 2017, р. 109)

Thus, the Nietzschean revision of the classical values of culture led to the actualization of axiological problems in philosophical discourse. Value in this research context becomes a new cornerstone that defines the spectrum of metaphysical analysts of culture, the focus of research thought. The procedure of revaluation of values ascertaining its immanent essence, deploying a horizontal projection of transcendence, the driving force of which is power to power.

If the constitution of values determines the will, it is natural to reveal the non-substantive nature of ethical-axiological entities. Accordingly, the regulation of human being, transmitted by classical culture, loses its legitimacy in this context. And the willed subject or "over-human" has all the necessary levers to map the nearest time / space. The transcendental values of purpose, unity and truth in the sealed world of things are declared unnatural and therefore superfluous. The ontology of value in such a trajectory of research is transformed into a point of view, the true confirmation of which is the hypertrophied will to power. Therefore, it is logical that attributive attributes to the intrinsic value are subject to calculative analytics by quantity, measure and purpose. Measurement finds application in a field that would logically be impossible.

The most ardent critic of culture, who saw in its moderately ordered ethical and axiological essence a powerful means of enslaving human consciousness and life, absolutized not the content of culture, but the effect of its influence, and proclaimed this effect in the form of the will to power the fundamental principle of being. But what is left to do if one rejects the old values and ideals of culture? Nietzsche (1990) defines: "… culture is just a thin apple peel over the scorching chaos" (p. 767). Accordingly, if it is destroyed, then the person will face the scorched chaos of the constant formation of nature. Will it be able to survive in the face of uncompromising evolutionary struggle? Will it rush back into the fold of traditional mythology? Probably, this is the danger of justifying radical positions, which, causing widespread resonance, thus open the gateway to criticism and remarks.

Well-known theorist of culture Wilhelm Dilthey considered the cultural and historical basis in the definition of the phenomenon of life. It is only possible to understand life through holistic immersion in the process and self-observation. It is possible to explain its specifics only referring to own experience. According to the thinker, culture is a frozen form of life dynamics. And the method of its analytics should be considered the interpretation, hermeneutics of individual events. This is the specificity of human life: any fact takes place in social reality, the understanding and meaning of which defines a particular context of culture. Culture and society are organically combined in the structure of human consciousness, and differ only speculatively. Therefore, it is possible to find out the complex mechanism of interaction between society and culture in hermeneutically-psychological analysis of particular moments and circumstances. It should be noted, that Dilthey introduces an important element of temporality into the circulation of philosophical analytics of culture. As living organisms take time to form and realize, so too does being in culture imply a prolonged process of activity and understanding. Accordingly, the perspective of cultural interpretation changes: history is defined not as a background for the existence of culture, but as an important factor in shaping its specificity and content. It can be stated that, in Dilthey’s culture, it is almost the first to receive a truly human face and expression. Being in culture is an experience of eternity and its actualized state; it is an opportunity to relive the experience of other generations on the basis of our own achievements and disappointments. The philosopher writes: "Allows the modern man to possess, as the present, all the pasts of humanity: to rise above any restrictions of modern culture, it looks at the past cultures, absorbing their power and enjoying their magic" (Dilthey, 2001, p. 124).

Culture is a historical memory stored in the form of sign systems that need clarification and interpretation. The horizon of the actuality of eternity of cultural monuments through the prism of time-limited human existence is the purpose and necessity of hermeneutics. Life experience allows us to decipher the content and meaning crystallized in cultural monumentality. Even history itself is proclaimed a part of human life, not an objective stream of rapid development of events and fates. For Dilthey, history is not an abstraction or a universal, but a living canvas woven from the specific moments of human life. The course of thought is fundamentally different: not history creates individual individuations of human life, but on the contrary, modes of human activity and self-realization are objectified in the historical process. Therefore, for the thinker, the principle of the subjective spirit is important, being objectified into unique and holistic forms that are traditionally called culture. The focus of his thinking is on life (Leben) as what is experienced (erlebt). The subjective spirit, endowed not only with rationality but also with emotions and will, is formulated in a continuum of experience (Erlebnis), which creates and fills objectified forms of universal culture and history. It is advisable to draw the following analogy: as small springs and rivers flood the oceans with their waters, the investment of individual commands and creative manifestations produces the living energy of the objectified spirit of history and culture. This position is in stark contrast to Hegelian, in which the logic of motion is predicted from objective to subject. It is logical that the concept of the Absolute Spirit is superfluous to the concept of historical and cultural formation. Its function is assumed by the objectification of individual subjectivities. Therefore, the universal is not the harmony of the absolute, but the "active communication" (Wirkungszusammenhang) of subjective spiritual integrity, which is defined by the idea of goals and values and shapes the logic and direction of historical and cultural development. Individual subjectivity itself is a "unity of life" (Lebenseinheit), organically united with others into the unity of self-affirmation of life. However, it does not dissolve in this objectivity, remaining a unique embodiment of the generic essence. These are the basic principles of connection between social and individual, history and culture. Consequently, F. Nietzsche and V. Dilthey detailed and deepened the dialectic of will and rationality, especially in a socio-historical perspective.

Georg Simmel adheres to the same logic in understanding of sociality, history and culture. He believed that life produces constant forms that limit and order the chaos of becoming:

All the series of events that occur from human activity can be regarded as nature, that is, causally conditioned development, where each present stage is understood from the combinations and driving forces of previous states. In this sense, there is no difference between nature and history – as long as history is simply a flow of events that goes into the natural interconnection of world processes and its causality. Only after any meaning of this series is brought to the concept of culture, does the concept of nature shift, which takes on a more narrow, so to speak, local meaning. (Simmel, 1996, p. 475)

For organic life, such a limit, or formative principle, is death. At the cultural level, these are Mehr-Leben or Mehr-als-Leben forms that are also immersed in the cyclicality and chronology of organic forms. At this transvital level, life is transcended into institutions that function under the same laws of time and space. And in this doom to oblivion, the thinker sees the tragedy of culture. As in the organic world, species struggle for survival, and in the space of culture, individual steel forms collide against the background of the contradictions of personal and social, unique and universal, temporal and eternal.

Culture is helpless in the face of the on-going onslaught of life, the energy of which is being counterbalanced by established cultural patterns. Personal culture or internalized cultural forms Simmel calls as "a priori norms" that regulate an individual’s activity and are dominant for a particular generation and his or her creative self-realization. Thus, the philosopher aligns the goals, motives and methods of human interaction with the historically determined forms of culture. Culture exists as a continuation of life, and this is the teleology of the values of culture: curiosity is at the heart of the practice of transforming the world, which is transformed into scientific knowledge, love is necessary for the continuation of kind, and art, religion and law best contribute to the socialization of the individual and the stabilization of the social. Accordingly, the virtues and values of culture are intended to assert the element of life. The purpose of this purpose is to be appropriate as opposed to freedom. Therefore, life is the element of freedom, and culture is the realm of expediency. Yoel Regev sees the tragedy of culture through the following lens:

The Concept and Tragedy of Culture provides the ontological ground for the concept of culture as a series of immanent crises: culture is seen as an expression of the basic subject-object dualism. In culture this dualism attains its highest form, and at the same time is overcome. It attains its highest form because it is here that the spirit itself turns into an object, for cultural works are the products of the spirit, but these products have become autonomous, and have become an objective reality that is fastened to the subject from the outside; it is overcome because it is exactly this form of objectivity that can be transformed back into the "expanded" and "developed", "culturalized" subjectivity − when the spirit recognizes itself in its alienated and objectivized form and reappropriates it in the process of individual Bildung. (Regev, 2005, р. 588)

The release of the spirit from the welcome element is presented in outstanding, exemplary cultural monuments, Simmel underlined. So, there is "science for science", "love for love", "art for art". These are the cases (few in the history of mankind) when the constant forms of expression of the vital impulse embody the apogee of expediency and perfection:

This unity of life, which is felt only in the imperious tension of all its contradictions, finds its metaphysical form in the teaching of Heraclitus about the essence of the world as the unity of opposites and the birth of struggle, and its formal and aesthetic in the work of Michelangelo, in which the soul that breaks. (Simmel, 2006, p. 185)

As we can see, Simmel shares the idea of "mondialization" of culture, the design of its individual spheres in self-sufficient integrity, without the obligatory attribution to the national-historical context. And this autonomy of cultural forms reveals the objective, over-personal nature of the phenomenon of culture. The objectivity of the culture, naturally, outweighs the subjective abilities, so the subjectivity possesses the forms of culture in a fragmentary way, "sliding" across its various spheres and contents. It is the "path of the soul to itself", the search for one’s identity and expression.

Simmel also breaks with the classic interpretation of culture through rationality. In his view, culture cannot be reduced to informational content, a set of knowledge and skills. The determinant for the existence of culture is not knowledge, but value, that is, value. Values influence the emotional-motivational sphere of subjectivity and shape its activity, epistemological and epistemological in particular. Therefore, the author understands culture as a synthesis of the objectified values of culture and the energetically active development of subjectivity.

In the absence of strength and energy, the subject is alienated from the culture, tragedy of powerlessness and disorientation in the symbolic space of historical and cultural entities in the process of internalization of objective values. Therefore, the subject deals with what comes closest and most clearly in his daily activity: things in their utilitarian meaning, not symbols in their axiological aspect. In this the thinker saw the basic contradiction of modernity: "culture of things", not "culture of values" is important for the modern inhabitant. Cultivating a thing, not a symbol of value, leads to the rapid dynamics of improving and diversifying the world of objects:

Cultivation involves the presence of something that has not been cultivated before, namely, a "natural" state; further, it implies that the change of the subject has in some sense been hidden in its natural structural relationships or driving forces, although they are realized not by themselves, but only through culture. Cultivation leads its subject to the completion and realization of its own fundamental tendencies. (Simmel, 2017, p. 376)

In this process, the development and inculturation of subjectivity are unclaimed, and the modern man is losing his own essence, identifying himself with the world of objects. Differentiation into objective and subjective culture Simmel considers as fundamental: if objective culture is a universal property, which improves the conditions of human life, then subjective culture is a measure of the development of the individual, an indicator of his personal growth. The author formulates this difference as follows:

Since culture in its vital sense is a particularly tight knot in which the subject and object are intertwined, two interpretations of this concept have the right to exist. As an objective culture, it is possible to designate those things, which, in their development, in their rise, in their fulfillment, lead to the self-realization of the soul, or represent those segments of the path by which the individual or the community must go to a more exalted existence. By subjective culture, I mean the achieved degree of personal development, and therefore objective and subjective culture are only in a figurative sense initially co-ordinated concepts. It is precisely where it comes to perfecting the entities endowed with their own trains, guided by the idea of going beyond their development beyond the purely natural process. (Simmel, 2017, p. 381)

In this dialectic of objective and subjective in the dynamics of being in culture, Simmel points out an extremely important pattern. The higher the level of personal creative expression in a certain area of culture, the more this work impresses with its perfection, the more resonance and distribution it gets in most of society. But massification, the dissemination of a sample of culture, essentially negates its value, loses the potential for cultivation and increased subjectivity. Elizabeth S. Goodstein explores the conceptual basis of modernity as an era of relativization, or the absolutization of money. Referring to Simmel’s famous work ("The Philosophy of Money"), the author describes the transformation of the methodological significance of the dialectic of empirical experience as complex, contradictory and unlimited:

The theoretical fruit of Simmel’s own evolution as a thinker was a phenomenology of disciplinarity that opened the way for a boundary-crossing modernist mode of theorizing in which the differences between disciplinary domains and practices blur into fluidity. First situating philosophy at the margins, then using the example of money to demonstrate the need to transcend the boundaries of disciplinarity as such, Simmel launched his performative demonstration of the possibility of overcoming the binaries that still haunt western thought by reconfiguring philosophizing itself after an artistic model. (Goodstein, 2019, р. 187)

Thus, spirituality as such is not identifiable with culture, is a separate autonomy in the field of objectified values of culture. This conflict between the sphere of values and the structures of life is best illustrated by the phenomenon of money – a form of objectification of the subjective spirit in the horizon of the material or the culture of things. A destructive trend of the present, but predicted in view of the destruction of the idols of traditional culture. The above analytics can be understood as a prerequisite illustration of the modern consumption society and the simulating character of the desire culture.


The originality of the authors’ thought lies in the interpretation of the essence of culture as an explication of vitality, as a logical and natural extension of life. In this formulation of the problem of culture, the possibility of reconciling the natural, social and value determinants of human life is formed.


Thus, if the classical paradigm of Socrates-Hegel’s philosophizing as determinants of the essence of culture emphasized the rationality of the awareness and affirmation of the values of truth, good and justice, then the rejection of the classics is based on other arguments. The philosophy of life resuscitates the ancient tradition of the Dionysian mysteries, the teachings of the Orphics and the Pythagorean Union, Neo-Platonism, and the early heretical disciples of Christianity. In this philosophy of becoming more important than form and content, eternity is revealed in the horizon of the current of fluidity, regularity is in the constant metamorphosis of being, and the only is a synthesis of the diversity of the individual.

This genesis lets us understand the voluntarily chaotic element of life. Culture in its philosophical analysis took on a clearer anthropomorphic dimension: the immanent logic of being in substantiating the essence and purpose of man and the value of his being localized the universe of transcendence in the concept of "living world", "inhabited space", "human, too human". Accordingly, the range of cultural evaluations has been polarized: from the approving statement of its vital essence, to the disparaging calls for its reform.

The classical conception of culture as the embodiment of rationality at the present stage is refuted by two significant aspects: for first, in the contemporary humanitarian discourse, the essence of rationality and modification of its morphology is largely reinterpreted, and secondly, rationality is not opposed to will, but in fact, rationality is understood as an algorithm and a tool of realization of will.

Produced by representatives of the "philosophy of life", the rejection of the juxtaposition of nature and culture forms the necessary prerequisites for solving current problems of today. If we understand the will inherent in life as the realization of desire, the continuation of life, and self-affirmation, then culture acquires essential predictions of the realization of life impulses. In other words, desire, as the basis of life affirmation, is realized in voluntary acts that are formalized by the rationality of codes and stereotypes of culture.

Modern society is identified as a society of consumption, and modern culture – as a cultivation of desires. These predictions serve to justify the crisis of contemporary socioculture. But if we consider culture as an explication of aspiration, and therefore desire, then the grounds for negative evaluations are leveled. In addition, the problem of the simulativity of modern cultural codes, as well as the problem of virtuality articulated by postmodernism, is devoid of demonicity in the concept of organic culture. Simulacre, like all virtual reality, remains in the coordinates of substantive ontology, and therefore subjectivity retains the criteria for verifying true and false knowledge.

The postulation of the unity of nature and culture forms the necessary ecological intentions. If culture is an extension of nature, then civilization and technology produced by culture have the necessary potential for implementation without violating the principles of biological equilibrium. In other words, culture as a sphere of rationalized desire can be organically incorporated into nature. Human activity, provided with adequate will and motivation, can be organized on the basis of values and priorities of environmental consciousness.


Acharya, V. (2015). Science, Culture, and Philosophy: The Relation between Human, All Too Human and Nietzsche’s Early Thought. Comparative and Continental Philosophy, 7(1), 18-28. doi: 10.1179/1757063815Z.00000000046
(in English)

Balinchenko, S. (2019). Mythologeme-Related Crisis of Identity: Reality and Fictional Markers of Alienation. Future Human Image, 11, 5-13. doi: (in English)

Bazaluk, O., Fatkhutdinov, V., & Svyrydenko, D. (2018). The Potential of Systematization of the Theories of Education for Solving of Contradictions of Ukrainian Higher Education Development. Studia
Warmińskie, 55, 63-79. doi: (in English)

Chen, S. (2008). Some theoretical characteristics of the philosophy of culture. Social Sciences in China, 29(4), 163-173. doi: (in English)

Dilthey, W. (2001). Germenevtika i teoriya literatury. In Sobranie sochineniy v 6 tomakh (Vol. 4). Moscow: Dom intellektualnoy knigi. (in Russian)

Ding, L. (2008). The basic nature of cultural philosophy. Social Sciences in China, 29(4), 143-152. doi: (in English)

Dobroskok, I. (2019). Errant Man: The Importance of Cosmological Models in Culture. Philosophy and Cosmology, 23, 90-97. doi: (in English)

Eliopoulos, P. (2019). From the Moral Limits of Personal Interest to the Derogation of Individual Identity: Colonialism and Oppression. Ukrainian Policymaker, 4, 4-12. doi:
(in English)

Goodstein, E. S. (2019). Thinking at the Boundaries: Georg Simmel’s Phenomenology of Disciplinarity. The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory, 94(2), 175-187. doi: 10.1080/00168890.2019.1585671
(in English)

Gunderson, R. (2016). The Will to Consume: Schopenhauer and Consumer Society. Critical Horizons, 17(3-4), 376-389. doi: (in English)

Khmil, V., & Malivskyi, A. (2017). Contemporary Reception of Rene Descartes’ Skepticism. Philosophy and Cosmology, 19, 168-178. (in Ukrainian)

Lestel, D. (2014). Dissolving nature in culture. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 19(3), 93-110. doi: (in English)

McGraw Jr, D. (2017). Universal Laws and the Structure of the "Total Universe". Philosophy and Cosmology, 19, 55-73. (in English)

Nietzsche, F. (1990). Sochineniya v 2 tomakh (Vol. 1). Moscow: Mysl. (in Russian)

Regev, Y. (2005). Georg Simmel’s philosophy of culture: Chronos, zeus, and in between. The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 10(6), 585-593. doi: (in English)

Rowthorn, D. (2017). Nietzsche’s cultural elitism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 47(1), 97-115. doi: (in English)

Rutherford, D. (2018). Nietzsche as perfectionist. Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 61(1), 42-61. doi: (in English)

Savenkova, L., & Svyrydenko, D. (2018). Academic Mobility and Academic Migration Issues: The Case
of Ukrainian Higher Education. Interdisciplinary Studies of Complex Systems, 13, 57-65. doi: 10.31392/iscs.2018.13.057 (in English)

Simmel, G. (1996). Filosofiya kultury. In Izbrannoe (Vol. 1). Moscow: Yurist. (in Russian)

Simmel, G. (2006). Izbrannye raboty. Kyiv: Nika-tsentr. (in Russian)

Simmel, G. (2017). Izbrannoe. Problemy sotsiologii. Moscow; St. Petersburg: Tsentr gumanitarnykh initsiativ.
(in Russian)

Turovskaia, S. V. (2003). Philosophy Is a Reflection on Culture. Russian Studies in Philosophy, 41(4), 83-86. doi: 10.2753/RSP1061-1967410483 (in English)

Yakushik, V. (2018). The Timeless Value of a Pluralistic World. Future Human Image, 10, 123-135. doi: 10.29202/fhi/10/13 (in English)

Zöller, G. (2018). Action, interaction and inaction: Post-Kantian accounts of thinking, willing, and doing in Fichte and Schopenhauer. Philosophical Explorations, 21(1), 108-121. doi: 10.1080/13869795.2017.1421694
(in English)


Acharya, V. Science, Culture, and Philosophy: The Relation between Human, All Too Human and Nietzsche’s Early Thought / V. Acharya // Comparative and Continental Philosophy. − 2015. − Vol. 7, Iss. 1. − P. 18–28. doi: 10.1179/1757063815Z.00000000046

Balinchenko, S. Mythologeme-Related Crisis of Identity: Reality and Fictional Markers of Alienation /
S. Balinchenko // Future Human Image. − Vol. 11. − P. 5–13. doi:

Bazaluk, O. The Potential of Systematization of the Theories of Education for Solving of Contradictions of Ukrainian Higher Education Development / O. Bazaluk, V. Fatkhutdinov, D. Svyrydenko // Studia Warmińskie. − 2018. − Vol. 55. − P. 63–79. doi:

Chen, S. Some theoretical characteristics of the philosophy of culture / S. Chen // Social Sciences in China. − 2008. − Vol. 29, Iss. 4. − P. 163–173. doi:

Дильтей, В. Собрание сочинений в 6 томах / В. Дильтей. – Москва : Дом интеллектуальной книги, 2001. –
Т. 4 : Герменевтика и теория литературы. − 538 с.

Ding, L. The basic nature of cultural philosophy / L. Ding // Social Sciences in China. − 2008. − Vol. 29, Iss. 4. −
P. 143–152. doi:

Dobroskok, I. Errant Man: The Importance of Cosmological Models in Culture / I. Dobroskok // Philosophy and Cosmology. − 2019. − Vol. 23. − P. 90–97. doi:

Eliopoulos, P. From the Moral Limits of Personal Interest to the Derogation of Individual Identity:
Colonialism and Oppression / P. Eliopoulos // Ukrainian Policymaker. − 2019. − Vol. 4. − P. 4–12. doi: 10.29202/up/4/1

Goodstein, E. S. Thinking at the Boundaries: Georg Simmel’s Phenomenology of Disciplinarity / E. S. Goodstein // The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory. − 2019. − Vol. 94, Iss. 2. − P. 175–187. doi: 10.1080/00168890.2019.1585671

Gunderson, R. The Will to Consume: Schopenhauer and Consumer Society / R. Gunderson // Critical Horizons. − 2016. − Vol. 17, Iss. 3–4. − P. 376–389. doi:

Хміль, В. Сучасна рецепція скептицизму Рене Декарта / В. Хміль, А. Малівський // Philosophy and Cosmology. – 2017. – Vol. 19. – P. 168–178.

Lestel, D. Dissolving nature in culture / D. Lestel // Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities. − 2014. −
Vol. 19, Iss. 3. − P. 93–110. doi:

McGraw Jr, D. Universal Laws and the Structure of the "Total Universe" / D. McGraw Jr // Philosophy and Cosmology. − 2017. − Vol. 19. − P. 55–73.

Ницше, Ф. Сочинения в 2-х томах / Ф. Ницше. – Москва : Мысль, 1990. – Т. 1. – 830 c.

Regev, Y. Georg Simmel’s philosophy of culture: chronos, zeus, and in between / Y. Regev // The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms. − 2005. − Vol. 10, Iss. 6. − P. 585–593. doi: 10.1080/10848770500254092

Rowthorn, D. Nietzsche’s cultural elitism / D. Rowthorn // Canadian Journal of Philosophy. − 2017. − Vol. 47,
Iss. 1. − P. 97–115. doi:

Rutherford, D. Nietzsche as perfectionist / D. Rutherford // Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. − 2018. − Vol. 61, Iss. 1. − P. 42–61. doi:

Savenkova, L. Academic Mobility and Academic Migration Issues: the Case of Ukrainian Higher Education /
L. Savenkova, D. Svyrydenko // Interdisciplinary Studies of Complex Systems. − 2018. − No. 13. −
P. 57–65. doi:

Зиммель, Г. Избранное / Г. Зиммель. – Москва : Юрист, 1996. − Т. 1 : Философия культуры. − 671 с.

Зиммель, Г. Избранные работы / Г. Зиммель. – Киев : Ника-центр, 2006. − 360 с.

Зиммель, Г. Избранное. Проблемы социологии / Г. Зиммель. – Москва ; Санкт-Петербург : Центр гумани­тарных инициатив, 2017. − 416 с.

Turovskaia, S. V. Philosophy Is a Reflection on Culture / S. V. Turovskaia // Russian Studies in Philosophy. −
2003. − Vol. 41, Iss. 4. − P. 83–86. doi:

Yakushik, V. The Timeless Value of a Pluralistic World / V. Yakushik // Future Human Image. − 2018. − Vol. 10. − P. 123–135. doi:

Zöller, G. Action, interaction and inaction: post-Kantian accounts of thinking, willing, and doing in Fichte
and Schopenhauer / G. Zöller // Philosophical Explorations. − 2018. − Vol. 21, Iss. 1. − P. 108–121. doi: 10.1080/13869795.2017.1421694


1*Гуандунський університет нафтохімічних технологій (Маомін, Китай), ел. пошта,
ORCID 0000-0001-6126-1747
2*Національний педагогічний університет імені М. П. Драгоманова (Київ, Україна), ел. пошта, ORCID 0000-0003-0584-933X
3*Національна юридична академія імені Ярослава Мудрого (Харків, Україна), ел. пошта,
ORCID 0000-0003-4610-908X



Метою статті є з’ясування змісту поняття культури як експлікації вітальності у філософії життя, а також у її подальших модифікаціях в актуальних проблемах сучасності. Аналіз здійснено, виходячи із тези, що протиставлення природи та культури не має сенсу, оскільки культура не суперечить природним детермінантам і закономірностям, а досить якісно змінює їх. Відповідно, аргументується думка про природовідповідність і природорозмірність культури як феномену та необхідності формування такого її потенціалу та змісту, який би не суперечив аксіомам і цінностям життя. Теоретичний базис. У межах підходів філософії життя розробка проблеми культури як експлікації вітальності створює підстави для аналітичної та прогностичної діяльності щодо змістовних перетворень в окремому історичному та соціальному горизонті. Основні категорії культури (дух, цінність, символ, свобода, справедливість і гармонія) отримують запитуваний зміст і значення. Уявлення про константність та надприродність універсалій культури є ілюзорним і небезпечним. Наслідками такого "некосмологічного" обґрунтування свободи і волі, і ствердження цінностей, що суперечать логіці життя, є глобальна екологічна, економічна та соціальна криза сучасності. Наукова новизна дослідження полягає у трактуванні сутності культури як вираження життєвої сили, як логічного та природного продовження життя. У цій постановці проблеми культури формується можливість узгодження природних, соціальних та ціннісних детермінант людського життя. Теоретики філософії життя обґрунтували первинність та верховенство цінностей життя над цінностями та смислами культури. Авторська позиція полягає у необхідності розуміння культури як природовідповідного та природорозмірного явища, зміст і стратегії якого детерміновані єдиною онтологією. Висновки. Аналіз дозволив авторам вийти на розуміння інтерпретації культури як волюнтативного хаотичного елементу життя. В результаті аналізу, культура набула чіткішого антропоморфного виміру: іманентна логіка буття в обґрунтуванні сутності та призначення людини та цінності її буття, локалізувала всесвіт трансцендентності в понятті "живий світ", "населений космос", "людський, занадто людський". Відповідно, діапазон культурних оцінок постав як поляризований: від схвального твердження її життєвої сутності, до зневажливих закликів до її ревізії. Хаотичність волюнтативних актів трансформується в культурні коди та стереотипи шляхом раціоналізації. Сучасний глобальний характер кризових явищ і в світоглядній, і в соціальній, і в екологічній площині вимагає переформатування розуміння культури як продовження природи, а не її антиподу.

Ключові слова: вітальність; цінність; рефлексія; символ; міф; істина; культура


1*Гуандунский университет нефтехимических технологий (Маомин, Китай), эл. почта,
ORCID 0000-0001-6126-1747
2*Национальный педагогический университет имени М. П. Драгоманова (Киев, Украина), эл. почта
, ORCID 0000-0003-0584-933X
3*Национальная юридическая академия имени Ярослава Мудрого (Харьков, Украина), эл. почта, ORCID 0000-0003-4610-908X



Целью статьи является выяснение содержания понятия культуры как экспликации витальности в философии жизни, а также в ее дальнейших модификациях в актуальных проблемах современности. Анализ осуществлен, исходя из тезиса, что противопоставление природы и культуры не имеет смысла, поскольку культура не противоречит естественным детерминантам и закономерностям, а достаточно качественно меняет их. Соответственно, аргументируется мысль о природосоответствии и природоразмерности культуры как феномена и необходимости формирования такого ее потенциала и содержания, который бы не противоречил аксиомам и ценностям жизни. Теоретический базис. В рамках подходов философии жизни разработка проблемы культуры как экспликации витальности создает основания для аналитической и прогностической деятельности существенных преобразований в отдельном историческом и социальном горизонте. Основные категории культуры (дух, ценность, символ, свобода, справедливость и гармония) получают запрашиваемый смысл и значение. Представление о константности и надприродности универсалий культуры является иллюзорным и опасным. Последствиями такого "некосмологического" обоснования свободы и воли, и утверждение ценностей, противоречащих логике жизни, приводит к глобальному экологическому, экономическому и социальному кризису современности. Научная новизна исследования заключается в трактовке сущности культуры как выражение жизненной силы, как логического и естественного продолжения жизни. В этой постановке проблемы культуры формируется возможность согласования природных, социальных и ценностных детерминант человеческой жизни. Теоретики философии жизни обосновали первичность и верховенство ценностей жизни над ценностями и смыслами культуры. Авторская позиция заключается в необходимости понимания культуры как природосоответствующего и природоразмерного явления, содержание и стратегии которого детерминированы единой онтологией. Выводы. Анализ позволил авторам выйти на понимание интерпретации культуры как волюнтативного хаотического элемента жизни. В результате анализа, культура приобрела более четкое антропоморфное измерение: имманентная логика бытия в обосновании сущности и предназначении человека и ценности его бытия, локализовала вселенную трансцендентности в понятии "живой мир", "обитаемый космос", "человеческий, слишком человеческий". Соответственно, диапазон культурных оценок предстал как поляризованный от одобрительного утверждения ее жизненной сущности, к пренебрежительным призывам к ее ревизии. Хаотичность волюнтативных актов трансформируется в культурные коды и стереотипы путем рационализации. Современный глобальный характер кризисных явлений и в мировоззренческой, и в социальной, и в экологической плоскости требует переформатирования понимания культуры как продолжение природы, а не ее антипода.

Ключевые слова: витальность; ценность; рефлексия; символ; миф; истина; культура

Received: 25.06.2019

Accepted: 12.11.2019

CПрямая соединительная линия 18reative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

doi: © D. B. Svyrydenko, O. D. Yatsenko, O. V. Prudnikova, 2019

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.