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The Ideal of Civilization: Its Origins, Meanings, and Implications

The Ideal of Civilization: Its Origins, Meanings, and Implications

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 The Ideal of Civilization: Its Origins, Meanings, and Implications
Source:
The Empire of Civilization
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226068169.003.0002

This chapter, which analyzes the normative dimension of civilization or civilization as ideal, explores the term's etymological origins and eighteenth-century French and British Enlightenment origins and meanings. It outlines how some measure of social cooperation and a capacity for sociopolitical organization or self-government among any given people have long been considered key characteristics or requirements of civilization.

Keywords:   civilization, normative dimension, Enlightenment, etymological origins, social cooperation, sociopolitical organization, self-government

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