In Search of Civilization: Remaking a tarnished idea

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9780141031064: In Search of Civilization: Remaking a tarnished idea

"A self-effacing, humane and unparanoid call to change our wealthy yet often barbaric world for the better." *

In this provocative cri de coeur, the philosopher John Armstrong rescues the idea of civilization from irrelevance and connects it to our search for individual happiness. "Civilization" once referred to a society's technological prowess, its political development, or its cultural achievement. In the modern era, however, the word became burdened by the legacy of colonialism and connotations of elitism. For it to have value once again, according to Armstrong, we must understand that a society balances material prosperity with spiritual prosperity if it is to merit the term "civilized"―and currently we are impoverished.

In Search of Civilization is his corrective. As he roams from anecdote to aesthetic appreciation―from the banality of an early job at an insurance company to the redemptive wonders of a seventeenth-century church spire visible out an office window, from Adam Smith's philosophy to the Japanese tea ceremony―Armstrong reminds us that culture lies within us and that its nourishment is essential to a flourishing society.

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About the Author:

JOHN ARMSTRONG is Philosopher-in-Residence at the Melbourne Business School and senior adviser to the vice-chancellor of Melbourne University. He is the author of several internationally acclaimed books on art, aesthetics, and philosophy.

Review:

“[Armstrong] is out to lead philosophy back to its most urgent, traditional and noble task: that of helping us to live wisely and well. His new book, lyrical, courageous and uplifting, is seeking to do nothing less than reform the ambitions of western societies.” ―ALAIN DE BOTTON, The Observer

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is civilization? Why do we need it? And what can civilization offer us in an age of irony? The idea of civilization is a complex one, tangled up for years in ideas of colonialism and politics. John Armstrong explores the nature and aims of civilization in this elegant and witty book, examining how civilizing forces from the Greeks to the Renaissance have shaped and coloured our ideas of what a Good existence means. Only by bringing conversations about civilization back into our everyday lives, Armstrong reveals, can we rediscover our chance for wisdom and happiness. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141031064

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is civilization? Why do we need it? And what can civilization offer us in an age of irony? The idea of civilization is a complex one, tangled up for years in ideas of colonialism and politics. John Armstrong explores the nature and aims of civilization in this elegant and witty book, examining how civilizing forces from the Greeks to the Renaissance have shaped and coloured our ideas of what a Good existence means. Only by bringing conversations about civilization back into our everyday lives, Armstrong reveals, can we rediscover our chance for wisdom and happiness. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141031064

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Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, UK, 2010. Book Condition: New. 2010. Paperback. What is civilization? Why do we need it? And what can civilization offer us in an age of irony? This title explores the nature and aims of civilization, examining how civilizing forces from the Greeks to the Renaissance have shaped and coloured our ideas of what a good existence means. Num Pages: 208 pages. BIC Classification: JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 130 x 13. Weight in Grams: 160. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141031064

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, In Search of Civilization: Remaking a Tarnished Idea, John Armstrong, What is civilization? Why do we need it? And what can civilization offer us in an age of irony? The idea of civilization is a complex one, tangled up for years in ideas of colonialism and politics. John Armstrong explores the nature and aims of civilization in this elegant and witty book, examining how civilizing forces from the Greeks to the Renaissance have shaped and coloured our ideas of what a good existence means. Only by bringing conversations about civilization back into our everyday lives, Armstrong reveals, can we rediscover our chance for wisdom and happiness. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141031064

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Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, UK. Book Condition: New. 2010. Paperback. What is civilization? Why do we need it? And what can civilization offer us in an age of irony? This title explores the nature and aims of civilization, examining how civilizing forces from the Greeks to the Renaissance have shaped and coloured our ideas of what a good existence means. Num Pages: 208 pages. BIC Classification: JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 130 x 13. Weight in Grams: 160. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141031064

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