The definition of civilization


  • 1 Civilization
  • 2 Definition of civilization
  • 3 The emergence of civilizations
    • 3.1 Environmental theory
    • 3.2 The theory of Ibn Khaldun
    • 3.3 Fico Theory
    • 3.4 Theory of Sex or Race
    • 3.5 Theory of Challenge and Response
  • 4 Civilization and culture
  • 5 References


The concept of civilization is not considered a modern concept today, but it is a concept that is old in history since the history of the existence of man on this earth. Its specific history, and every person has his own civilization. Civilization also prepares the face of the other for man; in it it shows the amount of its strength, its weakness, and its progress, [1] What is civilization? How did it arise? What are the theories put forward to explain its emergence? What is the difference between them and culture? This is what this article will address.

The definition of civilization

Civilization was defined by many definitions by anthropologists, and Ralph Piddington said that the civilization of any people is nothing but a bundle of intellectual and material tools that enable these people to satisfy their social and vital needs with satisfaction and also enables them to adapt in their environment appropriately. Edward Tylor also defined civilization as: the whole complex within which all beliefs, values, traditions, laws, information, arts , and any customs, behaviors, or possibilities that a person can acquire in a society are brought together. Civilization can be defined in the end as the physical and moral legacy of the human being that he left in the past, and on which man relied to complete his life process and current progress, whether it is moral aspects such as lifestyle, daily living, science, knowledge, or tools and material means that have remained an impact of his existence such as architecture,Numismatics and various handicrafts such as ceramics, pottery , and others. [2]

The emergence of civilizations

The emergence of civilizations began on a tribal basis, the terms of which were drawn from the strength of the bond of blood and kinship, so the tribe formed an urban field with many patterns, and its own customs, which regulate the behavior of its members in one social system. Then it began to evolve from tribal to religious, which in turn included many tribes. Then it evolved into the political sphere that contributed to the merger of isolated groups with other groups. [2] Several theories about the emergence of civilizations have formed throughout history , and we review the most important of these theories below. [3]

Environmental theory

This theory determines the importance of environmental factors in the emergence and formation of civilizations . This theory came out to the world in the fifth century B.C. This theory also enumerates some of the basic conditions for the establishment and growth of civilizations, their development, or their decline, including: the presence of rain, the nature of soil in terms of suitability for agriculture, high or low temperatures, and the nature of the geographical location.

The theory of Ibn Khaldun

Gave Ibn Khaldun a special analysis in the development of civilizations, and touched on the impact of the environment is obvious in the biological human qualities, which determines their impact on the habits and Slokath, and his mind, and his decisions, saying that climate an important role and head of it; the climate was in the region warm Vsttold ideas , Habits and traditions of a solid and hot nature, but if it is moderate, for example it will result in moderate thoughts and traditions, and so on. Ibn Khaldun also described man as a civilian being by nature, and called for the importance of sociology and the nature of human relationships that lead to the emergence of systems that govern societies.

Fico theory

Giovanni Battista Vico, the Italian philosopher, recognizes the necessity of certain and unified laws that contribute to the formation of nations and peoples. These laws are felt by a class of people or a class of a nation or a people, without one being aware of the other. These laws do not come by reason, but rather from "shared goodness" to "judgment without thinking." Fico also says that there were no rational people or philosophers before civilization and the state existed, opposing by saying this the theory of rational philosophers who say that society brought it and made rational people.

The theory of gender or race

Oswald Tsinglu came to this theory, in which history is interpreted according to causality and the revealed fate, and he said that the emergence of civilizations goes through stages similar to the stages a person goes through. And it is considered that the gender factor based on the biological and functional difference between male and female is the basis for evaluating the work done within the community . Oswald also says that every culture and civilization has its own characteristic and what gives it its special character that no one competes with and expresses its privacy, even if all civilizations are the same.In the world in its life cycle, from barbarism to primitive and then civilization, to reach the stage of origins, which is the stage that brings the accumulation of technology, the fall of emotional and spiritual values, to finally ending with a stage of radical life. It has been proven at the present time that this theory is useless and fallen historically. Research and scientific studies have proven that the human race in terms of biological formation is one case, and that the termination of languages for a single origin does not mean the assumption of one sex. Also, the element is not what makes civilization, but civilization arises within certain conditions, including environmental, economic, and other conditions.

Theory of challenge and response

This theory, which was presented by British historian Arnold Toynbee, is concerned with the civilizational and religious aspect, where it says that the difficult conditions are the ones that evaluate civilizations in response to severe challenges, [3] where civilizations do not appear as a result of a specific geographic environment, nor And biological. [4]

Civilization and culture

Culture is generally defined as the data and concepts brought about by the religious belief that dominates a community, whether that religion is celestial or non-celestial; where these data and concepts form the hidden aspects of culture such as emotional matters and spiritual areas, or from the visible side of culture as the world Literary, intellectual, and artistic, it is highly influenced by culture. [5]

There are several differences between the concepts of civilization and culture : [4]
  • Culture is a will and a perception, and civilization is an end result and a tangible impact.
  • Culture is a general description for the individual, and civilization is a description for the nation.
  • Civilization is formed and clarified in many systems, such as political systems, for example, and in various inventions, industries and sciences. As for culture, it is evident in philosophies , languages, literature, and humanities in general.

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