‘Savagery, civilization, and property II: Civilization and its discontents’

“The second half of the eighteenth century saw the development, primarily in Scotland (though with significant French and other precedents), of what would come to be known as ‘stadial theory’ or ‘four-stages theory’. This group of theories built on an age-old interest in the origins of society and its institutions, sharpened by contact with New World societies that reminded Europeans of societies described in classical Greco-Roman and biblical sources, and raised the issue of what separated ‘savage’ or ‘barbaric’ peoples from ‘civilized’ ones. Stadial thinking offered a theory of progress …” (more)

[David Schorr, Environment, Law, and History, 27 November]

Leave a Reply