Civilization

DEFINITION

An advanced condition of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions. Or, it may be the particular type of culture developed by a nation or region during a period of history. Those people and things which further the development of this condition are called civilized, or may be called civilizing influences.Quotes: "Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts -- the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art." John Ruskin (1819-1900), British writer, art critic. Modern Painters (5 volumes, 1843-1860, epilogue, 1888). See art critic. "The principal task of civilization, its actual raison d'etre, is to defend us against nature." Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian physician and founder of psychoanalysis. The Future of an Illusion, 1927. "In a completely rational society, the best of us would aspire to be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have." Lee Iacocca, contemporary American automobile manufacturing executive. "Civilization, in a certain sense, can be reduced to the word 'welcome.' " Stanley Crouch (contemporary), American music critic. Commenting on the music of Duke Ellington in Ken Burns' Jazz, a film for PBS, 2000. Also see archaeology, chronology, ethnosphere, heritage, interdisciplinary, material culture, posterity, primitive, Prometheus, tradition, and vandalism.

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