In Search of Civilization: Remaking a Tarnished Idea

In Search of Civilization: Remaking a Tarnished Idea


By (author) John Armstrong

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 12mm | 160g
  • Publication date: 24 June 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141031069
  • ISBN 13: 9780141031064
  • Sales rank: 120,389

Product description

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.

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Author information

Associate Professor John Armstrong is Philosopher in Residence at the Melbourne Business School and Senior Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University. Born in Glasgow and educated at Oxford and London, he has lived in Australia since 2001. He is the author of several internationally acclaimed books on art, aesthetics and philosophy, including The Secret Power of Beauty and Conditions of Love.

Review quote

A passionate and often very personal defence of civilization's qualities Financial Times His style is fluent, his personality engaging, his wit sharp, his mind cultivated and his sensibilities keen The Times John Armstrong is a Good Thing ... determined to return moral philosophy to the intercourse of ordinary people The Times Higher Education Supplement