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By M. Mozaffari

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Immanuel Wallerstein, who is also skeptical about the various definitions of civilization, makes a distinction between “historical system” and “civilization”. Civilization, in his view, refers “to a contemporary claim about the past in terms of its use in the present to justify to heritage, separateness, rights” (Wallerstein 1992: 235). Despite the differences of opinion among scholars, there is at least unanimity over civilizations being broader than a single culture and larger than a group of cultures.

W. Norton. McNeill, William H. (1963) The Rise of the West, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. —— (1989) Arnold J. Toynbee: A Life, New York, Oxford University Press. Miller, David L. (1974) The New Polytheism, New York, Harper & Row. Morazé, Charles (1957) Les bourgeois conquérants, Paris, Armand Colin. Mushakoji, Kinhide (1996) “Multilateralism in a Multicultural World: Notes for a Theory of Occultation”, in Robert W. ), The New Realism: Perspectives on Multilateralism and World Order, London, Macmillan for the United Nations University.

An ability to enter into the mental framework of the Other becomes an essential ingredient in peaceful coexistence. G. Collingwood, in his book The New Leviathan (1942), put forward a relevant thought. 23 But it contains a thought about the process of civilization – the process of generating civility – that is relevant to a coexistence of civilizations (in the plural). Collingwood refers to the distinction made by Plato between two kinds of discussions: eristical and dialectical. In an eristic discussion each party tries to prove he was right and the other wrong.

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