In this ambitious exploration of humanity and civilizations throughout history, major historical events and processes in the history of mankind are looked at in order to understand the "currents" of history. Jaroslav Krejc analyzes the whole history of civilization and considers historical events such as feudalism and the development of science. By bringing both sociological and historical insights to this broad subject, and particular attention to different types of knowledge (such as religion and its impact (...) state law labor and ownership), the book offers insights into the future of civilization and shifting global power. (shrink)
Norbert Elias’s project in The process of civilization involved reconstructing invisible movement—both the slow tempoof long-term historical change and the modification of psychic structures and embodied dispositions. To do this, he resorted to uncommon devices: treating historical texts as constituting a series amenable to a rudimentary discourse analysis, he constructed an imagined ‘curve of civilization’ serving as an approximation of the hidden process of change. Elias’s curve was not supposed to represent single past states, but movement itself, its (...) direction and pace. This novel concept of historical representation was related to the perception of cinema as a new medium making actual movement visible. But beyond making it possible to imagine how one could telescope long-term historical process, cinema also held the promise of serving as a microscope, making the minute movements of the human body, gestures and manners available for close inspection. While anthropologists were devising ways of using the new medium to document fleeting gestures and bodily postures, it was used by popular audiences as a source for remodelling behaviour and acquiring polite manners and body techniques, as noticed by such acute observers as Marcel Mauss and Joseph Roth. Hence, popular appropriation of the cinema gave rise to a heightened awareness of the historicity of gestures and the changing modalities of their transmission. Cinema was itself part of the accelerated motion of history, of a perceived change of pace in the process of civilization, which in its turn shed light on its historical antecedents and played an essential role in rethinking the notion of civilization and culture.Keywords: Norbert Elias; Marcel Mauss; Joseph Roth; Cinema; Gestures; Body; Discourse; Historiography; Sociology of culture. (shrink)
Since its presumed origin by the big bang, about 14 pasts billion years, the Universe is composed of entities, or objects, that produce movements that produce new objects that produce new movements, in an endless sequence.The human mind is one of these entities, whose movements are capable to produce many objects, materialized or as ideas. Those objects in their turn will interact with the mind and new movements will be produced. This process had composed the history of mankind.The Nature (...) presents a world of movements, originated from its first movement—the explosion of the Singularity. The Universe continues in its expansion, while the Earth rotates and the animals move on its surface. So are the humans, who continue to reproduce by natural movements, biologically, but are capable to fly to the Moon. The entire Universe is composed by the same particles, forming a multitude of objects, inserted in the primary objects, participating in the primary movements, and introducing new ones. It is a World of an infinite number of movements derived from the first one, disposed in levels. The upper levels are constituted by the social movements.Thus, history is a development of the producing of material and ideal objects and of their related movements. To produce it mankind have been using the natural environment, offered by the earth’s surface, and the social products already produced during their times of history.Among the last, the social products, one recognizes: a) the knowledge, or information; b) the social relations between men and their social structures, and c) the spatial shaping of their social life, or geography.Thus, in this paper one tries to develop the idea of relating the terms Civilization, Mode of Production and Ages of History to the above three-legged composition.An example is given here: the invention of the caravel, that had conduced to the large discoveries (technology, information, knowledge). It intensified commercial activities, geographical interactions, accelerating the replacing of the feudal society in Europe by the mercantile society (social relations, social structure). The geography also changed with the higher development of the commercial sea port urban centers (spatial shaping geography).The current age of globalization is being an age of a new geography and of new forms in the urbanization process. (shrink)
Despite Karol Wojtyła later to become Pope John Paul II was firstly a moral and anthropological philosopher, his reflection also concerns in historiosophical and civilizational issues. This part of his intellectual activity is rather less known. But Wojtyła was an author of original conception of history and civilization. Among different ways of historiosophical and civilizational interpretations we can find him as a representative of moderate universalism. He joined the belief in existence of universal history as well as (...) the common values with a need of clear definition of human “ego” that could be realized thanks to concrete communities. He saw history in theological and philosophical aspects. Firstly, for him it was a universal history of salvation that is a participation of all nations and cultures as well as every real man. In a philosophical sense he emphasized the universal desire of getting to know the ultimate truth and gaining absolute good. His ethical model of universal civilization is based on the acceptation of cultural diversities. That is why it could be named as “ecumenical civilization”. Its main method is a dialogue that leads to truth and peace. We can find the source of Wojtyła’s universalism in a personalistic philosophy, which sees a proper subject of history and culture aswell as civilization in a person. (shrink)
This volume constitutes an attempt at bringing together philosophies of time—or more precisely, philosophies on time and, in a concomitant way, history—emerging from Christianity’s and Islam’s intellectual histories. Starting from the Neoplatonic heritage and the voice of classical philosophy, the volume enters the Byzantine and Arabic intellectual worlds up to Ibn Al-Arabi’s times. A conscious choice in this volume is not to engage with, perhaps, the most prominent figures of Christian and Arabic philosophy, i.e., Augustine on the one hand (...) and Avicenna/Ibn Sina on the other, precisely because these have attracted so much attention due to their prominence in their respective traditions—and beyond. In a certain way, Maximus the Confessor and Ibn Al-Arabi—together with Al-Fārābi—emerge as alternative representatives of their two traditions in this volume, offering two axes for this endeavor. The synthesis of those approaches on time and history, their comparison rather than their mere co-existence, is left to the reader’s critical inquiry and philosophical investigation. (shrink)
This book is part of a major project undertaken by the Centre for Studies in Civilizations , being one of a total of ninety-six planned volumes. The author is a statistician and computer scientist by training, who has concentrated on historical matters for the last ten years or so. The book has very ambitious aims, proposing an alternative philosophy of mathematics and a deviant history of the calculus. Throughout, there is an emphasis on the need to combine history (...) and philosophy of mathematics, especially in order to evaluate properly the history of mathematics in India, in particular the history of the calculus.The pivotal goals of the book are to oppose the Eurocentric account of the history of science in general and mathematics in particular; to avoid the usual philosophical idea of the centrality of proof for mathematical knowledge, in favour of the traditional Indian notion of pramāṇa [validation] encompassing empirical elements and emphasizing calculation; to analyze the thousand-year-long development of infinite series in India, starting in the fifth century; and to show ‘how and why the calculus was imported into Europe’ from about 1500. The result is a picture in which inputs from the Indian subcontinent and epistemology are the driving forces of the history of mathematics, as people in the European subcontinent struggle to adopt new calculation techniques from the East in spite of Western philosophico-religious biases . Thus, a ‘first math war’ involved the algorismus de numero indorum, adopted for practical reasons, which forced Europeans to modify their epistemology of number and quantities. A ‘second math war’ revolved around infinite series and the calculus, since the background of Western epistemology created ‘spurious difficulties’ about infinities and infinitesimals, partially resolved with theories of real numbers. And a ‘third math war’ is …. (shrink)
The essay focuses on the impact of Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization in Germany in 1968. First, the essay discusses how Freud’s theory was used in the late twenties at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. Then, it focuses on how certain of Adorno and Horkheimer’s ideas were developed in Eros and Civilization . Finally, it shows how Marcuse’s work became relevant for the intellectual development of the student movement in Germany.