The Civilizational Approach and „Reason in History“ Cover Image
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Цивилизационният подход и „разумът в историята“
The Civilizational Approach and „Reason in History“

Author(s): Vassil Penchev
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Институт за изследвания на обществата и знанието при БАН
Keywords: civilization; civilizational approach; long run (longue durée); mentality; historical time; kairos; historical choice; Dazeit; fundamental history; temporal capability; historical capability;

Summary/Abstract: The article outlines a philosophical foundation of the civilizational approach in history and in the philosophy of history that acquired popularity with Toynbee and Huntington. The problem is that there is a working approach, however surprising. The nation state continues to be the basic unit of almost all historical research. Even the true notion of „civilizational“ or „civilizational approach“ remains vague and undefined. A few of its features could be: religion, the long run (la longue durée) as the specific time of civilizational history, a special kind of historical time that is absolutely different from the physical one, the mentality typical of any civilization, a common historical path, the parallel course of various civilizations, a specific historical development. The philosophical fundament sought for in „fundamental history” is obtained by an interpretation of Heidegger’s „fundamental ontology“. The new term „Dazeit“ is coined in order to use „Dasein“ to describe the center and source of „fundamental history“, which is thought in temporal terms rather than existentially. Choice becomes a fundamental philosophical and historical concept. It is naturally linked to Paul Tillich’s „kairos“, which is interpreted as a special and basic modus of historical time. Heidegger’s „Schicksal“ and „Geschick“, „Es gibt“ and „Ereignis“, as well as Hegel’s „reason in history“, find their natural place in the same context. What is involved here is a new human capability, temporal or historical. It permits human beings to have and follow a civilizational history founded on fundamental history. The philosophical foundation includes three successive levels: 1) the deepest one is fundamental and philosophical; 2) the next one, which mediates, is philosophical and historical; 3) the third level, which guides historical research, is methodological.

  • Issue Year: XXII/2013
  • Issue No: 5
  • Page Range: 56-65
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Bulgarian