Re: naturvolk versus kulturvolk

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Sat Jan 08 2005 - 11:30:56 PST

Many thanks!
I have found current uses of the terms found through google, in
partricular, translations from twikipedia very interesting. I finally
thought to look under my nose at Jahoda's great book, Crossroads
between culture and mind where he takes up the work of Herder, then
von Humboldt, Lazurus and Steinthal, and Wundt, where the idea of volk
is developed,
then volkgeist, and then the differentiation.

In case all of this seems off track to anyone on xmca, Vygotksy and
Luria use the
terms uncultured or unencultured peoples and cultured peoples in ways
that map on to
some uses of nature and culture volk in the German thinkers listed on
this thread.

On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 14:17:16 -0500, Tony Whitson <> wrote:
> Steinmentz writes:
> The opposition between Kulturvölker ("cultural" or civilized peoples) and
> Naturvölker ("natural" or primitive peoples) became ubiquitous in German
> scholarly writing in the second half of the nineteenth century, although the
> terms were given varying definitions (compare, for example,
> Klemm [1843–1852] and Vierkandt [1896]).
> Klemm, Gustav. 1843—1852. Allgemeine Cultur-Geschichte der Menschheit.
> Leipzig: Teubner.
> Vierkandt, Alfred. 1896. Naturvölker und Kulturvölker. Leipzig: Duncker and
> Humblot.
> fn. 29, p. 50
> Steinmetz, George. ""the Devil's Handwriting": Precolonial Discourse,
> Ethnographic Acuity, and Cross-Identification in German Colonialism."
> Comparative Studies in Society and History 45, no. 1 (2003): 41-95.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Cole []
> Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 12:25 PM
> To:
> Subject: naturvolk versus kulturvolk
> Can anyone point me to the origin of the concepts of naturvolk and
> kulturvolk
> in German thought? I see the notion of volk attributed to Herder, but am
> having difficulty finding out where the nature/kultur distinction is
> introduced and by whom.
> mike

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