GRAMMAIRE CIVILISATION BRAUDEL PDF

When Gandhi was asked for his opinion on Western civilisation, his answer was that 'it would be a good idea'. Implied in this flippancy is the notion that what we call civilisation is less the majestic architecture of skyscrapers and cathedrals, the displays of air squadrons and marching bands, the louder-than- thou pronouncements of the daily press, than some essential human quality Gandhi found lacking in the West. The word 'civilisation', denoting the process by which this quality is achieved, is an 18th- century neologism penned by the French economist Turgot. According to ethnologists, who have taken to heart Pope's dictum about the proper study of mankind, certain societies are 'civilised', that is to say, materially advanced, while others are merely 'cultured'. The dichotomy rings false: in Germany, Poland and Russia, 'culture' meaning, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'the refined understanding of the arts and other intellectual achievements' takes social precedence, while in France, Britain and the United States, 'civilisation' which the OED defines as 'an advanced stage or system of social development' is more highly prized. But, pace ethnologists, can there be one without the other?

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