conceptualization of civilization, culture


This paper may be regarded as an effort to answer some questions concerning the conceptualization of civilization.

1. Whether or not concepts are essentially verbal, is the concept of civilization primarily denotative (referential) or connotative (emotive) in meaning?

2. If the concept of civilization is primarily emotive, is its emotive force predominantly laudatory or derogatory in effect?

3. When the concept of civilization is derogatory, is it decadence or outdatedness that is primarily derogated?

4. If the concept of civilization is primarily denotative, is its denotation primarily abstract (referring to culture and associated mentifacts) or primarily concrete (referring to people and their artifacts)?

5. If civilization is an abstraction, is that abstraction a condition (what used to be called “civility”) or a process (the act of civilizing or the experience of being civilized by others)?

6. If civilization is a process, is this process gradient (continuous) or discrete (discontinuous) in nature?

7. If civilization is discrete from other cultural states, at which diachronic stage does it make its crucial transition from effective non-existence to effective existence? Is this point at the pongid-hominid interface, the hunting-farming interface, or the rural-urban interface?