The term civilization is used in several ways: stage of historical development of mankind, following the barbaric (L. Morgan, Engels, A. Toffler); synonym of culture (A. Toynbee and others); level (step) of of a region or a single ethnic group (an ancient civilization, for example); a certain stage in the development of local cultures, stage of degradation and decadence ("The Decline of Europe" Spengler). Recognized features civilization is that the transition itself becomes the hub for her moment of a culture. Civilization means the transition to the actual social organization of society, when society was formed, with all its differences from barbarism. Civilization is not confined to just one, albeit very important, the economic parameters of social development, and includes such important factors as cultural studies, geography, spiritual, etc. Civilization – a sustainable cultural and historical community of people, different community of spiritual and moral values and cultural traditions, the similarity of material production and social and political Development features lifestyle and personality type, in most cases, the presence of common ethnic traits and the corresponding geographical scope.
As seen through the prism of history of civilized approach? Extensive material accumulated by the XX century. archeology, ethnography, comparative linguistics and other sciences, the crisis has illusions about the "linear" direction of history and liberal progressivism, most experienced intellectuals under the influence of World War I, served as a prerequisite for the formation of civilized approach to understanding history. It was necessary to broaden the horizons of traditional historical scholarship, to determine place of European culture to other cultures. The essence of civilized approach lies in the fact that human history is divided into several independent entities – the local civilizations, each of which has an independent history, different uniqueness of historical events, unique cultural and historical events. One of the first attempts to describe the history of mankind in terms of local development Civilizations and Cultures closed belongs to the Russian naturalist and philosopher, NY Danilevsky, who in 1871 in his book "Russia and Europe," criticized the commonly understood concept of division of world history on ancient, average, a new and highlighted the following "distinctive civilization," or cultural-historical types: ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Assyrian, Babylonian, Phoenician, or Chaldean, Indian, Iranian, Jewish, Greek, Roman; Neo-Semitic or Arabic, German and Roman, or European. Criticism of the concept of a unified world history and the doctrine of justification set equal to the level of maturity reached by the German culture is carried out philosopher and historian Oswald Spengler.
In his book "The Decline of Europe", he identifies eight types of cultures: Egyptian, Indian, Babylonian, Chinese, "Apollonian" (Greco-Roman), "Faustian" (Western European) culture and the Maya. Each cultural "organism" lives in advance certain clearances (about millennium) period. Dying, the culture is degenerating into a civilization, in the late ossified "mass" culture, where the transition from creative to infertility, to the soulless "intelligence" to the denial of life itself. The originality and uniqueness of each civilization defends the British historian, diplomat and philosopher Arnold Toynbee. In his work "The study of history," he argues, that World History is just a collection of stories of unique individual, relatively closed civilizations, each of which passes in its development stage appearance, growth, and fracture decomposition.