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Looking for info on a type(s) of theory.

  1. Mar 15, 2015 #1
    Does anyone know if civilizational theory is a thing? In other words, creating solutions for how large populations can prosper in a particular structure.

    Or would that be a philosophy of some kind?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2015 #2


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    It's not clear what you mean by "creating solutions for how large populations can prosper in a particular structure."

    The study of civilizations, or more broadly, "cultures", falls under anthropology:


    In general, civilizations are not built ready made in one fell-swoop, but evolve over time. If a civilization grows too large or too complex for its population to continue to thrive, then, over time or all of a sudden, that civilization will begin to decline, until it is either replaced with something more tractable for people to thrive, it is absorbed into a rival culture, which functions more efficiently, or it disappears altogether, as a result of some natural or man-made catastrophe, like being conquered or having a volcano blow up.

    One of the best known early works on the study of civilizations is, of course, Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776).

    A popular author of more recent vintage is Jared Diamond:


    Several of his books have studied why various cultures (including our own) thrive and why others fail abjectly, in spite of apparently having a wealth of resources on which to draw.
  4. Mar 15, 2015 #3
    Thank you for your response.

    Would social contract theory be something to look into? Generally, could the details (the ideas) of a social contract give any indication of how long a civilization lasts?
  5. Mar 15, 2015 #4


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    We don't allow philosophy.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
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