Cywilizacja jako dyskryminacja. O niedyskryminującej koncepcji cywilizacji w duchu poprawności politycznej

Grzegorz Lewicki


Civilization as a Discrimination. On the Non-Discriminatory Concept of Civilization in the Spirit of Political Correctness

This essay reflects upon the main assumption of the comparative research on civilizations, according to which there exist many different civilizations, as opposed to one, global civilization (the civilization). According to the author, the assumption of civilizational plurality these days is frequently deemed controversial, value-laden and ideologically non-neutral among Western scholars, which in turn may result in an erosion and crisis of comparative civilizational approach in general. The crisis is caused by the inherent tension between postmodern political correctness, which requires humanities to be deprived of discriminatory potential, and academic necessity to forge philosophical-historical generalizations that divide the world into different civilizations. The skeptics claim that as long as every definition of a civilization has a discriminatory potential by excluding some group from a civilization’s reach, civilizational pluralism in general should be rethought or abandoned. Is such skepticism justified? The author presents and criticizes a comparative civilizational approach by Ian Morris, who unsuccessfully tries to overcome the sources of this skepticism. Finally, a preliminary sketch of a non-discriminatory definition of a civilization is presented that would account for multicultural and postmodern sensitivity. The definition is based on the logical alternative of two factors (dominant religion and/or preferred type of political order) as indicators of civilizational identity. Some research questions and consequences stemming from the proposed approach are elaborated.

Keywords: postmodern civilization, multicultural definition of civilization, political correctness, discrimination, philosophy of history, comparative research on civilization, Ian Morris, Francis Fukuyama, Krishan Kumar.

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