Thursday, January 28, 2010

What is History? History is...

What is history? How did we get where we are today? How can history guide us into the future? The way people answer these questions is through theories. There are four theories on what history is and how everything came about. The first theory is the Linear Theory. This clarifies that our history has a beginning and will have an end. The second theory is the Cyclic Theory. This explains that past events are a specific pattern of cycles. There is no reason to live another day or go back in time, because history will just repeat itself in a pattern. Cyclical history dictates the major forces that motivate human actions and return them in a cycle. The third theory is the Hegelian Theory. Basically, a series of events will happen, which will jumpstart a new series of events into motion. There is no beginning or end to this theory. The fourth theory is the Vortex Theory. This explains that history is inconsistent. History can become immense then become insignificant. This means it has the capability to fluctuate. Now that we have gone over the theories, which of these are ludicrous and which one is the acceptable theory? Well, they all seem logical but one is superior to the rest.
My standing on which theory of history is the best is the Hegelian theory of history. This theory explains that the triad of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis is a continuing process that forms new events and happenings. The thesis is an advanced, intellectual proposition. The antithesis is the reaction to the proposition which sends the synthesis into solving the conflict between the thesis and antithesis by reconciling their common truths. Thus, the synthesis creates a new proposition setting the cycle back up again. I believe there was never a beginning nor end to history. History and the universe have been forever constant with no beginning or end. The Hegelian theory explains the past and will guide us into the future.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was the German philosopher who created the Hegelian theory. He was born on August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart, Germany. He was also one of the creators of German Idealism. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel believed that is was customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history. Critical philosophy of history is the "theory" aspect of the discipline of academic history, and deals with questions such as the nature of historical evidence, the degree to which objectivity is possible, and so on. Speculative philosophy of history is a branch of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. Speculative history asks at least three basic questions. What is the proper unit for the study of the human past? In this instance, are you studying the individual subject? Are you studying the city or sovereign territory? Are you studying the culture or civilization? Or are you studying the human species as a whole? The next main question is, are there any extensive patterns that we can discern through the study of the human past? For example, are there any patterns of progress or developmental cycles? Do you personally think history is deterministic? Or are there no patterns or cycles and is human history just completely random and unplanned? The third and final question that is posed is, if history as a matter of fact can be said to progress, what is history’s ultimate direction.
Through this speculation, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was trying to stature up a theory that could tell mankind what force is driving history, and who and how are they doing it. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel theorized that critical philosophy and speculative history, speculated a possible teleological end to its development. This theory ultimately asks if there is a design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the processes of human history.
This theory is better than the others because it makes the most sense. A single event has to happen to set another event in motion. I find it odd but interesting that I can actually see this theory unfold in everyday life. It is simple to comprehend and easy to view in everyday happenings. The Hegelian theory can be interpreted in the simplest way, but at the same time it can be a challenging concept to grasp. The simple way is to just realize that one event triggers the next. But it isn’t all the easy for some people. For a quantity of people with abstract thinking, they think of what might have happened if the first occurrence was different. This theory can be related to intense human thinking and critical judgment. Here’s a scenario that would help put this theory into a real life situation. John Smith left his house at seven o’clock and while traveling just fifteen minutes away from where he started, he hits a deer that is trying to cross the road. His car is damaged, he is injured and now a usually serene animal is dead. If John Smith were just to wait fifteen minutes and left his house at 7:15, the whole state of affairs would have been avoided. The deer would have crossed the road safely, and John Smith would then have not past that specific part of road until 7:30. Therefore, this time slot is giving the deer enough time to cross the road safely. This sparks a new thought that history is not susceptible to change, but what will become history is. This is otherwise known as, the future.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s theory is the most valuable to humans because it obvious that occasions in the universe is not unexpected, they are planned. A force behind it all is creating a time line that is unremitting and will unfold as we, humans, live through it all day to day. Events are already planned out, but they have a possibility to change. This change could be either good or bad. The outcome is what we as humans will just have to wait and see, using the Hegelian theory of history, what the future has in store for us.

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Work Cited: -Nosotro, Rit. "Is history cyclic or linear?". 1/27/10
-"Philosophy of history". 1/28/10

1 comment:

  1. Please remember to use parenthetical MLA style citations. Your writing is strong, but your argument would benefit from source material.