society, culture, horizon, civilization, stages of development, institution. inter-civilizational contact


The editor-in-chief of the Comparative Civilization Review, Joseph Drew, has updated and edited this article by two noted scholars and early presidents of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations. In this paper, written in the early nineteen seventies, Benjamin Nelson and Vytautas Kavolis, the first two presidents after the association’s relocation to the United States, present the basic philosophy of the association. One approach is in the study of comparative civilizations, the study of different cultures and societies which they place on the lower form of their encompassing “horizons approach.” The horizons approach seeks a more far-reaching perspective and which looks at various universal patterns throughout the globe. In turn, this horizons approach has eight variants. The fifth through eighth horizons examine civilizations as a whole, stages of development, institutions, and the role of history, psychology, and sociology in given civilizations as they are processed in inter-civilizational contact; these horizons are especially noted with special preference for the last two. These last two are followed by an extensive list of authors who have written on regional and topical aspects from an implicit horizons approach.