The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History


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Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Configure custom resolver. Brian E. Gates - - Journal of Moral Education 35 4 Brooks Adams - - Gordon Press. The Law of Civilization and Decay. Peter Baofu - - Peter Lang. James S. Cochran - - Van Gorcum. Understanding, a Phenomenological-Pragmatic Analysis. Gary Brent Madison - - Greenwood Press. Dynamics of World History. Christopher Dawson - - Isi Books.


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Sign in to use this feature. Philosophy of History in Philosophy of Social Science categorize this paper. Applied ethics. History of Western Philosophy. Normative ethics. In Italy aqueducts and baths seem to have been maintained even after other monumental buildings in the towns, with the exception of town walls and palaces, fell into disuse in late antiquity Ward-Perkins 31, In Antioch and other Near Eastern towns, at least part of the ancient water system was maintained into the Byzantine period and possibly up to the Era of Islam Kennedy Although there were continuities from antiquity to the Middle Ages, the water supply was more limited and the Christian water patronage replaced the classical one: it was a move from luxuria to necessitas Ward-Perkins After the fall of the Roman Empire, water supply and sewage systems experienced fundamental changes in Europe.

Medieval cities, castles and monasteries had their own wells, fountains or cisterns. Usually towns built a few modest latrines for the inhabitants, but these were mostly inadequate for the size of the population. The lack of proper sanitation increased the effects of epidemics in medieval towns in Europe.

Consequently, the growth of world population increased Figure 2. All this profoundly affected.


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Fig 2. Estimated human population growth from 10 B. Along with the industrialization and urbanization of the Western world, enlightened people were fascinated with the idea of progress. This was the period when the first actual water closet was developed. The water closet was seen as a victory for public health without any consideration for where the human excreta went through sewer pipes. During the century the role of water in the transmission of several important diseases — cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and diarrhoeas — was realized.

The final proof came when the microbes causing these diseases were discovered. Sensory evaluation of water quality was complemented with chemical and microbiological examination. The discovery of microbes and the introduction of efficient ways of treating large amounts of water paved the way to an era in which the public health problems caused by polluted water seemed to belong to history.

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The s was a period of extensive population growth — the global population about quadrupled while the urban population increased fold Figure 2. By A. During the century industrial production increased fold and the consumption of energy by a factor of tens. Water and sanitation services had a definite role in this rapid socio-economic change of the entire globe.

In the early 20th century the health problems associated with water pollution seemed to have been resolved in the industrialized countries when chlorination and other water treatment techniques were developed and widely taken into use.

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Anxiety about chemical and radioactive environmental hazards and their impacts on human health mounted in the s. In the historical context, the growth of urban centres has been a continuous and even an escalating trend. Many of these centres are today located in developing economies, while the ensuing problems are concentrated on the poorest people — as always.

Especially women and children suffer from these constraints. Today there is a global shortage of potable water. Services that are now at a high operational level were not achieved easily and without massive inputs and efforts. This is something to keep in mind when assessing future options and considering required strategies. The level of water supply and sanitation in a society is not necessarily bound with time and place as much as the capability of that society to take responsibility for developing the living environment of its citizens and proper policies.

In some cases, the situation was even better earlier than nowadays. Decisions have been made concerning water and sanitation systems — e. There have also been situations where the choice of a technology has been regarded as problematic from the first beginning but has been chosen anyway. For instance, lead pipes were considered hazardous for health already in antiquity but continued to be used in house connections until recently.

Water supply and sanitation systems have always required continuous maintenance and adequate rehabilitation. This was already evident with the Roman aqueducts: calcium carbonate incrustation forming within the conduits needed to be removed constantly or it would have stopped the flow of water. The same is true for modern systems: they must be maintained to function properly.

The 30 cases from all the continents covering various historical phases indicate that the level of water supply and sanitation is not necessarily bound with time and place as much as the capability of society to take responsibility for developing the living environment of its citizens. Below we will shortly discuss some of the key findings according to the horizontal themes of the book: population growth, health, water consumption, technological choices and water governance.

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Throughout the history major problems seem to be concentrated largely on the same people - the poor, if not the poorest of the poor. They suffer from poor sanitation, lack of good water, ensuing health problems, poor education and often lack of good governance and basic democracy. Women, children — and especially girls — are often the ones who fetch the water from distant sources of water. This daily task prevents the latter going to school, learning to read etc.


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Eventually they become adults who might not be able to act as an active citizen and all in all have effect on their own lives let alone the society as a whole. The same is the case with sanitation — it is a question of being connected either to the sewer or using proper on-site sanitation solutions. It is just vitally important to operate and maintain the systems properly.

A well and an eco-toilet, especially in areas with scattered settlements, will also provide in future durable and ecological solutions. Investing in water supply and sewerage and thus also in the environment is always worthwhile. Studying wells and toilets needs more resources, so that we could find the best solutions and paths of action for different conditions — there is no such thing as cookie-cutter solution for systems which have such direct interaction with the environment.

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For economic but also for several other reasons, it is not feasible to have waterborne sewerage everywhere while obviously they are needed in densely-populated areas at the moment. In dispersed rural areas at least such alternative on-site systems can be considered. These alternative systems seem particularly be subject to local conditions. Public health has always been a major factor influencing the ways how water supply has been solved by societies. The source of water supply was chosen according to its salubrity: clear, odourless water e.

The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History
The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History
The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History
The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History
The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History
The Paths of Civilization: Understanding the Currents of History

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