Happy New Year! The January Philosophy Book of the Month is The Runaway Species. Discuss it now.

The February Philosophy Book of the Month is The Fourth Age by Byron Reese (Nominated by RJG.)

Can man become civilised

Use this philosophy forum to discuss and debate general philosophy topics that don't fit into one of the other categories.

This forum is NOT for factual, informational or scientific questions about philosophy (e.g. "What year was Socrates born?"); such homework-help-style questions can be asked and answered on PhiloPedia: The Philosophy Wiki. If your question is not already answered on the appropriate PhiloPedia page, then see How to Request Content on PhiloPedia to see how to ask your informational question using the wiki.
GE Morton
Posts: 438
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 1:06 am

Re: Can man become civilised

Post by GE Morton » January 5th, 2019, 11:09 pm

Belindi wrote:
January 5th, 2019, 8:31 am

As for conflating 'civilisation' with 'urbanisation' : the need for families to get together for communal agricultural and technological efforts and defence caused civilisation but not what we commonly call urbanisation.
Yes, it did. "Civilization" is derived from the Latin civitas, for "city." A civilization is a society characterized by cities --- a "city" being a community so large that most of its residents don't know most of the others. I.e., they are societies of strangers.

The development of agriculture spurred two huge changes in human societies. It forced abandonment of the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle; crops required attending throughout the year, and thus permanent settlements. And because (when successful) it produced a surplus of food, some workers were freed to develop other skills, pursue other arts and crafts, and later, establish trade with other settlements, which drew more strangers to the community.

At least, that's the standard story.

Posts: 1744
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Belindi » January 6th, 2019, 7:26 pm

I've never been in America however all I have heard about North America makes me believe that individualism (as contrasted with clinging to old tribal traditions) is very much accepted and lauded not only in Hollywood myth but among present day Americans and Canadians. I 'd say that special societies like the Amish are the exceptions that prove the rule.

I'll concede about 'civilisation' and 'urbanisation'. It probably doesn't matter very much which word is used, and I note the OP's definition.

Post Reply