The mathematical analysis of dynamics has opened up the possibility of innovative approaches to the study of culture, enabling not simply the numerical manipulation of cultural data, but offering tools, models and concepts for the understanding of the intensities of cultural change.
The proposed Coordinated Action, A Topological Approach to Cultural Dynamics (ATACD) aims to provide an infrastructure for the sharing and consolidation of topological approaches to the study of cultural dynamics across disciplines. Put simply, topology is the study of structural invariance under deformation. What makes it especially useful in the study of cultural dynamics is that it captures almost everything in our intuition of continuity. And what makes it a distinctive approach to the study of cultural dynamics vis-a-vis other approaches to the study of culture is that it provides tools for the understanding of culture that are neither typological nor topographic.
This means that it makes possible the study of:
- cultural change as normal and immanent rather than exceptional and externally determined;
- cultures as constituted in relations rather as having some essential properties;
- cultures as intensive, not extensive, that is, cultures are defined by their possibilities for change rather than their size or location.
A topological approach to cultural dynamics thus provides a set of tools and concepts to think about different levels and kinds of change - learning, transmission, and innovation - as normal, relational and intensive. The approach is especially useful at the present time of rapid cultural change as it makes possible the study of values but avoids normative judgments.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/mathematics/pure mathematics/mathematical analysis
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCA - Coordination action