[The process of humanization]

Tip Tarihi Arastirmalari. 1999;9:24-61.
[Article in Turkish]


As Stefan Zweig expressed the situation of mankind succinctly: There are key moments in history (Sternstunden der Menschheit). Because of their paramount importance their events are minimal. Moreover, among them there are those which are greater in calibre than the ones quoted in Stefan Zweig's Sternstunden der Menschheit. These are the turning points of history. At first glance we can enumerate four major events: first and foremost, the enormous shift of certain communities from food-gathering to agriculture around 8000 BC mainly in Southwest Asia (Mesopotamia). Second, the introduction of the writing system at circa 3500 BC by the Sumerians again in Southwest Asia. Last but not least that tremendous innovation, maybe the greatest in history, once more in western Asia, the emergence of monotheistic religions based on revelation, and the origination of philosophy-science within the realm of the Antique Aegean civilization. Man's basic reality is biotic. He shares this very particularity with all other living beings of this world. Livingness, so far as we know, is a peculiarity of our planet, the Earth. The unfolding of livingness and ultimately the emergence of man as a living being is apparently covered by evolution. Hominization is the biotic, whereas humanization represents the cultural (or spiritual) aspect of becoming the human being. Hominization and humanization complement one another to bring about the human wholeness. Hominization, or put it in another way, the evolutionary aspect is, indeed, not the beginning of the story. There still remains a lower layer, in the ontological sense of the team, to be tackled; and that is the physical one. Just as with every living thing, man's most fundamental building blocks are of a physico-chemical-i.e. subatomic, atomic and molecular-nature.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Civilization / history*
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Early Modern 1451-1600
  • History, Medieval
  • History, Modern 1601-
  • Humans
  • Philosophy / history*