Open society (French: société ouverte) is a term coined by French philosopher Henri Bergson in 1932 and describes a dynamic system inclined to moral universalism. Bergson contrasted an open society with what he called a closed society, a closed system of law, morality or religion. It is static, like a closed mind. Bergson suggests that if all traces of civilization were to disappear, the instincts of the closed society for including or excluding others would remain.
|Part of a series on|
The idea of an open society was further developed during World War II by the Austrian-born British philosopher Karl Popper. Popper saw it as part of a historical continuum reaching from the organic, tribal, or closed society, through the open society (marked by a critical attitude to tradition) to the abstract or depersonalized society lacking all face-to-face interaction transactions.