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cultural inheritancekulturelle Vererbung (ger.)

  • 1) Cultural phenomena inherited from ancestors or previous generations.

    each generation is under moral obligation to improve its cultural inheritance and transmit it unentailed

    Russell, J.E. (1900). The function of the university in the training of teachers. Teachers College Record 1, 1-11: 4; id. (1900). The advanced professional training of teachers. Journal of Social Science 38, 79-91: 83.


    [Cultural heredity or the endowment with which an individual starts must be put under the head of the products of society

    Stuckenberg, J.H.W. (1903). Sociology. The Science of Human Society, vol. 1: 288.]


    part of our cultural inheritance

    Bardswell, F.A. (1903). The Book of Town & Window Gardening: 45.


    cultural inheritance of the race

    Monroe, P. (1907). A Brief Course in the History of Education: 407.


    [these ethnic groups [of America] have a distinct physical and cultural heredity and even when they are mobile they mix hardly more than they mix in Europe

    Kallen, H.M. (1915). Democracy and the melting pot. The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 12, 94-96: 95.]

  • 2) The process of transmitting cultural phenomena by means of imitation and/or instruction.  
    Sowohl die kulturelle wie die biologische Vererbung setzen nicht, wie die wirtschaftliche, den Tod des Vorbesitzers voraus. Das ist aber nicht der Hauptunterschied. Dieser besteht in der Art der Übertragung. Bei der biologischen Vererbung geschieht die Übertragung durch einen ganz eigenartigen, komplizierten Vorgang […]. Die Natur dieses Vorgangs schließt jede Analogie mit der wirtschaftlichen und kulturellen Vererbung […] vollständig aus
    Schallmayer, W. (1910). Vererbung und Auslese in ihrer soziologischen und politischen Bedeutung: 59.

    Biological and Cultural Inheritance [...] A sharp distinction should be made between these two kinds of inheritance: — the biological, that which we inherit congenitally; and the cultural, that which we inherit by social contact 

    Tozzer, A.M. (1925). Social Origins and Social Continuities: 6.

    On the other hand, in the seven or eight thousand years of recorded history, man’s society has continually changed; because of the transmission of experience symbolized by tools, language, printing, photography, etc., there is social-cultural inheritance as well as biological inheritance. 

    Novikoff, A.B. (1945). The concept of integrative levels and biology. Science 101, 209-215: 213.
    Biological inheritance is made possible through the transmission of genes. Genes are considered to be self-replicating nucleic acid or nucleoprotein molecules, each different one distinctive in its influence on enzymic action. Human social or cultural inheritance is made possible through the transmission of symbols — usually spoken or written language. Social contact and contiguity is necessary for social inheritance. Germinal contact and continuity is necessary for biological inheritance. Symbols have meanings that are learned. They are duplicated by each new individual as they are learned from others, and each symbol may initiate associated behavior. Biological and social inheritance are analogues with fundamental differences in mechanisms and fundamental similarities in their hereditary function.
    Emerson, A.E. (1954). Dynamic homeostasis: a unifying principle in organic, social, and ethical evolution. Sci. Monthly 78, 67-85: 70.
    Man has developed cultural heredity or culture.
    Dobzhansky, T. (1955). Evolution, Genetics, and Man: 338.

    This cultural inheritance does the same sort of thing for man that in the subhuman world is done by the genetic system, which transmits its ›information‹ from generation to generation in the form of a DNA chain. Man can similarly transmit information in the form of actual letters on the page

    Waddington, C.H. (1960). Discussion statement. In: Tax, S. (ed.). Evolution after Darwin, vol. III. Issues in Evolution: 148-9.