World Civlization Identified with Five Epochs of History

Vel

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Historical and Sociological Approaches to Civilization In contemplating civilizations, it is possible to approach these entities sociologically and learn about them through description of the various facets of their societies and cultures. In such a way, Alexis De Tocqueville described U.S. society in the 1830s, and Robert and Helen Lynd described "Middletown" America in the 1920s. The life of a community is seen in a collection of snapshots taken at roughly the same time. Another approach is historical. The assumption here is that a civilization can be known by the story which leads from its past to its present and beyond. This story narrates important events that explain how the present society came to be. The approach to civilizations presented in this paper is historical rather than sociological. The study of civilizations becomes close to being a study of world history. In fact, world history might be considered the story of civilizations.
World History and Comparative Civilizations The purpose of this paper is to present a scheme of world history and comparative civilizations which I believe will help to make the accumulation of historical experience more intelligible. This scheme is presented in a fuller version in my book. Five Epochs of Civilization:
World History as Emerging in Five Civilizations, which was published last year. The book was reviewed by Matthew Melko on June 1, 2001,
at the 30th annual meeting of the ISCSC on the Newark campus of Rutgers University. I made a presentation of its concepts at a workshop
on the following day. This paper will respond to points made in Professor Melko's review (see page 138), and in subsequent discussions, as well as explain the book's thesis.

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