Civilization - Philosophy


By civilization (from Latin civilis - civil, state) is understood a special condition or stage of cultural development, marked by the invention of writing and storage of written records, urbanization, technology improvement (in agriculture and industry). Civilization is opposed to savagery and barbarism as a stage of the world historical process, connected with the achievement of a certain level of sociality and rationality. Usually the concept of civilization includes material, technical, social achievements and contrasts it with the notion of culture, which includes spiritual values. So, Oswald Spengler connected culture with periods of creative spiritual growth, and civilization with a comfortable "stagnation", during which the initial ideas get technical implementation. In fact, these concepts are not so different and all the more contrary: to describe what the Germans called "culture," the French used the notion of "civilization."

Civilization implies a level of development of society, which is characterized by:

- the presence of advanced technology, economic specialization;

- production of luxury goods

- trade for long distances;

- centralized management of the economy;

- social stratification;

the existence of cities or large administrative centers;

- legal institutions;

- a standing army;

- the state form of government;

- religion;

- codified history;

- monumental architecture and art.

For civilization as a stage of social development, it is characteristic to distinguish socium from nature and the emergence of contradictions between natural and artificial factors of the development of society. At this ethane social factors of human activity prevail, the rationalization of thinking progresses, the prevalence of artificial productive forces over natural ones is characteristic. Signs of civilization include the development of agriculture and crafts, class society, the existence of the state, cities, trade, private property and money, as well as monumental construction, writing. The notion of "civilization" often denote a stage in the development of human society, characterized by the existence of social classes, as well as cities, writing and other similar phenomena. The civilizational process includes not only technical achievements, but also organization, orderliness of psychic life, expressed in restraint and foresight, self-control and self-discipline, responsibility and decency.

In academic science, the concept of "civilization" increasingly used to formulate common cultural and historical principles and laws for the organization and development of a complex human society. It has acquired a key importance in a number of influential general historical, sociological, and cultural concepts based on an integrated approach to the study of society and the dynamics of its change.

Among the main factors that determine the civilizational development of society, the American sociologist Samuel Huntington (1927-2008) considered geographical, climatic, biological, demographic (overpopulation blocks the growth of wealth), dietary (poor diet of nomadic people prevents their social evolution), etc. The precondition for the formation of civilization, he believed the achievement of a significant level of efficiency in the production of food. In general, the criteria by which civilization is distinguished from the stage of barbarism are social, moral and intellectual.

School educators and teachers play an important role in the civilizational process. Among the first to leave a bright trace of the mentors of youth are Socrates and his disciple Plato, who invariably turned to young people with the question: do you care about yourself? In this case, care of yourself presupposed not only care for the body, the formation of which society always attached importance to: a strong, trained body needed a warrior and an employee and therefore always acted as a symbol of the power of the state, which explains the abundance of naked male bodies on monuments, monuments and tombstones. Along with gymnastics, diet and asceticism, philosophy served as a means for the development and healing of the soul, nurtured the will and courage to live, patience, prudence, prudence and virtue. These qualities, Plato believed, are necessary for everyone, but especially for those who are called to govern the state.

One can not ignore the cultural importance of ethos (morals, etiquette) of the leading social strata, for example noble classes, which form a style of restrained behavior that is characterized by correct speech, good manners and courtesy. If in the Middle Ages civilized behavior covered an insignificant part of the population (mainly court society), then after the transfer of power from the military (knight) estate to the civil (bourgeois) ethos of the noble class spreads to wider sections of the population. At the same time, bourgeois society transforms knightly and noble ethos on the basis of more rational planning, calculation, and thereby enhances human far-sightedness. Such restraint, which removed the excesses that had occurred before, became a source of new problems. Today, a person can no longer directly discharge the pressure of passions, so there is a strong tension between his inner "I" and those requirements that he is compelled to obey. The society went on the way of the invention of various kinds of compensatory methods of discharge: sports spectacles, discos, etc. However, they do not relieve a person from anxiety and force him to resort to all sorts of drugs that stimulate artificial desires. Normalization of an abnormal remains one of the main problems of modern culture.

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