西方究竟为何物?

    巴黎--世界各地的人们现在都已经听说了所谓的“文明的冲突”。亨廷顿的这一概念已经家喻户晓。五十年代,法国经济学家索维创造了“第三世界”一词也同样人人皆知。这些词语之所以为大众所接受是因为它们定义模糊。“文明的冲突”基本上是西方对抗世界其他部分,它本应描述世界的本来面目。在现实中,西方是含糊不清的,包括大量领域而并不确定其统一的特征。

    那么究竟为何西方呢?西方化是什么?为何认为日本是西方而中国不是?上海属于哪里?俄国是西方的一部分吗?

    从这些不确定性中,我们可以得出结论说西方并非一个地理性的实体。希腊人在2500年以前把他们自己视为是与东方波斯人对立的西方。大概在那个时候西方作为一种心态而建立起来。由于西方从那时以来已经失去了明确的领土范围,“西方”一词已经成为普世而非地域概念。

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