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Comparative History

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    Posted: 12 Jun 2011 at 23:44
Given the fact that spread throughout the various threads there have been repeated efforts to juxtapose Country A against Country B, or Continent C against Continent D or elaborate premises that fail even the most crude construction on the meaning of historical hypotheses--worse, the name Toynbee has been uttered with some reverential awe--perhaps it is way past the time to assess the criteria required for correct comparison in terms of Historical Methodology and examine what is meant by cultural criteria in terms of idealizations proper to historical analysis. In essence this Thematic Category is the ideal section of the Forum for valid comparison once a methodological approach is defined.
 
So let's have at it...specially in view of the insistency by sociologists and poliical sceintist to throw around quantitative data and employ such for what they term "cross-country national research" and view such as the bones for historical analysis. What is Comparative History and is it valid given unique cultural biases?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 02:12
Ok, interesting topic. Start it, please, with an example.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 02:19
For starters I'd like to see more emphasis on an analytical approach to history instead of just the linear, Hegelian model. Comparative analysis of a case by case basis seems more interesting than macho slugfests anyways.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 09:36
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Given the fact that spread throughout the various threads there have been repeated efforts to juxtapose Country A against Country B, or Continent C against Continent D or elaborate premises that fail even the most crude construction on the meaning of historical hypotheses--worse, the name Toynbee has been uttered with some reverential awe--perhaps it is way past the time to assess the criteria required for correct comparison in terms of Historical Methodology and examine what is meant by cultural criteria in terms of idealizations proper to historical analysis. In essence this Thematic Category is the ideal section of the Forum for valid comparison once a methodological approach is defined.
 
So let's have at it...specially in view of the insistency by sociologists and poliical sceintist to throw around quantitative data and employ such for what they term "cross-country national research" and view such as the bones for historical analysis. What is Comparative History and is it valid given unique cultural biases?
This is only a comment to the last words about "given unique cultural biases". I am not so sure they are "given" in the sense there can be made any "list" of them that we agree about. The norms and "biases" of our surrounding human environment are probably not at all identical, and we may only be able to guess about that of the other participants here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 13:06
Fantasus, "given unique cultural biases" does not mean--as I surmise you imply--the cockamamie quirks in argumentation much too often on display in certain corners of this Forum, but instead I am referencing the problematics that arise in History and Historical Analysis when the desiderata of Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, Psychology and Linguistics are thrust upon it. For instance, just recently a thread was opened with criminality as theme and an immediate appeal to statistics was presented and by implication conclusion requested thereof and by extension intent focused on declaring some societies were "more criminal" than others! Stuff and nonsense. To underscore such, I will take an example from History: the Portuguese concluded the Tupinamba were "thieves" in the early decades of the 16th century. Here we have an example of a culture with a keen sense of private property encountering another where common needs had a greater primacy and resources were viewed as available to all. Nevertheless, the Portuguese engaging in the pao brazil called the Tupians thieves. Is a Historian justified in accepting such a conclusion because it is clearly written in the documentary sources? Or even compiling a statistical list in support of such so as to conclude that yes the Amerindians were thieves and criminality a common trait among these people? Fortunately, a Historian familiar with the full breadth of documentation would know that greater intimacy--as gained by the Jesuit missionaries later in that century--produced an explanation: the Tupians were "innocents" with no refined concepts of "good and evil" as understood by the philosophically inclined "Westerners". From there we have the origins of the Amerinds as "children" requiring tutelage and instruction, which in a later epoch would give rise to the "Noble Savage" thesis! Consequently, cultural bias  simply means
the interpretation and judgment of phenomena by standards inherent to one's own culture (the Burckhardt maxim warning against the application of contemporary exigencies into the past). Certainly such is the crime repeatedly committed by the PC palaver typical in hyphenated histories so in vogue of late but also the principal offense of Toynbee in his approach under the claim he was composing Comparative History. What was his deus ex machina for interpretation: Moral Failure! Of course that was a value judgment fraught with consequences none greater than the artificiality of his divisions that continue to haunt us today [e.g. despotic minorities].
 
Elsewhere, Fantasus, you hypothesized over civilization (North and South) which just in its proposition begs the question of cultural bias with respect to conventions and principally opens the door to exaggerated flourishes and vacuous conclusions that essentially bring disrespect upon the writing of History, which must respect the parameters of fixed time and eschew the predictive. No greater example of such tom-foolery is possible if not the pomposities of Toynbee himself:
 
[T]he vast literature, the magnificent opulence, the majestic sciences, the soul touching music, the awe inspiring gods [of India]. It is already becoming clearer that a chapter that has a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way.
 
Toynbee. One World and India (1954)
 
Let us just say that Toynbee certainly paved the way for the proliferation of New Age gibberish!


Edited by drgonzaga - 13 Jun 2011 at 13:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 14:33
Interesting topic. However, don't forget that Indians called Europeans thieves, too. Mapuches call the rest of Chileans, just like that: huincas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 14:58
Who asserted that the Mapuches were immune from reaching conclusions premised upon their own exigencies; however, Penguin, in this instance you are obfuscating. Huinca is a later derivative from Wingca, the Mapuche term for "outsider" [the enemy, not of one's own group] which now carries the stereotypical sense of usurper, thief or liar. Speaking in an anthropological sense, the "other" is always  open to such negative connotations. There are many an Amerindian group whose present names are those given them by their rivals [e.g. "Comanche" from the Shoshone for "enemy or stranger"].
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 21:32
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

  For instance, just recently a thread was opened with criminality as theme and an immediate appeal to statistics was presented and by implication conclusion requested thereof and by extension intent focused on declaring some societies were "more criminal" than others! Stuff and nonsense.
I do not see the nonsensical. At least not for relatively "modern" societies.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

To underscore such, I will take an example from History: the Portuguese concluded the Tupinamba were "thieves" in the early decades of the 16th century. Here we have an example of a culture with a keen sense of private property encountering another where common needs had a greater primacy and resources were viewed as available to all. Nevertheless, the Portuguese engaging in the pao brazil called the Tupians thieves.
Neither the Portuguese, nor the Tupians were without some norms I think, so the problem here was who´s norms (or laws) "counted". I do not see this example as some "counterproof" all comparative statistics is meaningless. And I think practically all reliable statistics are made within societies, with some form of government, state structure, etcetera.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Fortunately, a Historian familiar with the full breadth of documentation would know that greater intimacy--as gained by the Jesuit missionaries later in that century--produced an explanation
A better one than that they were all "thieves"?
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Consequently, cultural bias  simply means
the interpretation and judgment of phenomena by standards inherent to one's own culture (the Burckhardt maxim warning against the application of contemporary exigencies into the past).
If we discuss such "biases" and make "accusations" (for lack of a better word), then why should not such "accusations" be followed by some sort of evidence, rather than vague suspicions?
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Certainly such is the crime repeatedly committed by the PC palaver typical in hyphenated histories so in vogue of late but also the principal offense of Toynbee in his approach under the claim he was composing Comparative History. What was his deus ex machina for interpretation: Moral Failure! Of course that was a value judgment fraught with consequences none greater than the artificiality of his divisions that continue to haunt us today [e.g. despotic minorities].
Moral failure was not my chosen focus, though I do not necessarily regard a discussion about different "value sets" as nonsense. But why, if You are against such moralism, use words as "crime" and "offense"?
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Elsewhere, Fantasus, you hypothesized over civilization (North and South) which just in its proposition begs the question of cultural bias with respect to conventions and principally opens the door to exaggerated flourishes and vacuous conclusions that essentially bring disrespect upon the writing of History, which must respect the parameters of fixed time and eschew the predictive.
My own views is only from one "angle" over "civilisation".  From another, it is the "forces outside man and civilisation" or "nature", or "given conditions". I do not see how factors like ligth, temperature, humidity, etcetera, in any way can be the "same" as culture, moral, or genetics or race, or "historical period" or anything like it. They can however have great effects and consequences, which is something different. And I cannot see what "fixed time" has to do with history. The later is after all all about change?
 
 


Edited by fantasus - 14 Jun 2011 at 07:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 03:43
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Who asserted that the Mapuches were immune from reaching conclusions premised upon their own exigencies; however, Penguin, in this instance you are obfuscating. Huinca is a later derivative from Wingca, the Mapuche term for "outsider" [the enemy, not of one's own group] which now carries the stereotypical sense of usurper, thief or liar. Speaking in an anthropological sense, the "other" is always  open to such negative connotations. There are many an Amerindian group whose present names are those given them by their rivals [e.g. "Comanche" from the Shoshone for "enemy or stranger"].


Sorry Doc, but your books are incorrect. Remember that I am Chilean and I am in contact with Mapuches, some of whom are my friend. And, believe me, Huinca means robber. At least, that was the original meaning, and the one keep during centuries. And Huinca or Wingca are the same words. The first is the Spanish way to spell it.

And the Spaniards deserved that name, isn't? They robbed land.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 09:42
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

And the Spaniards deserved that name, isn't? They robbed land.
The Spaniards conquered that land. All conquerors might be thieves but not all thieves are conquerors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2011 at 21:56
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Who asserted that the Mapuches were immune from reaching conclusions premised upon their own exigencies; however, Penguin, in this instance you are obfuscating. Huinca is a later derivative from Wingca, the Mapuche term for "outsider" [the enemy, not of one's own group] which now carries the stereotypical sense of usurper, thief or liar. Speaking in an anthropological sense, the "other" is always  open to such negative connotations. There are many an Amerindian group whose present names are those given them by their rivals [e.g. "Comanche" from the Shoshone for "enemy or stranger"].


Sorry Doc, but your books are incorrect. Remember that I am Chilean and I am in contact with Mapuches, some of whom are my friend. And, believe me, Huinca means robber. At least, that was the original meaning, and the one keep during centuries. And Huinca or Wingca are the same words. The first is the Spanish way to spell it.

And the Spaniards deserved that name, isn't? They robbed land.
 
The Picunche spoke the same language and there are early dictionaries you know. No matter how many contemporary acquaintances you put forth as linguistic authority the term wingca from which huinca derives means foreigner (an outsider). How colloquial usage from the "streets" may have altered such is really irrelevant. Care to try for auca, che?
 
But then you prefer to adulterate matters to suit your perpetual "talking points".
 
But even here, you are not going to derail the subject: Here is an exercise in comparison--
 
 
By the way, look for the proper usage of the term huinca, it is there!
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 14 Jun 2011 at 22:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2011 at 00:42
The Picunches (my ancestors, partially of course) were allied to the Spaniards. Of course theirs concepts would be different.
Picunches, Huilliches, Lafkenches, Pehuenches, etc are all subsets of the Mapuche people, and spoke the same language with regional variations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2011 at 19:26
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


(the Burckhardt maxim warning against the application of contemporary exigencies into the past).


Quite so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2011 at 20:31

If I should make some defence of at least a great part of the "comparative" history as seen on AE, I would say they are about possible views of history, and don´t claim to be more than "scethches", a thought "what if". From that point we may discuss if these views makes any sense, and if there is any reason to consider them further. Burt I have difficulties withn the view that in some way we "can not" or are not "allowed" to make comparisons. Why not?



Edited by fantasus - 17 Jun 2011 at 08:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2011 at 21:43
The comparative requires the postulation of basic assumptions that in and of themselves may carry a bias (or exigency) totally divorced from the realities of the societies contrasted or juxtaposed. Therefore, Fantasus, the caution I iterated. For example the minute you utter a statement such as the "Dark Ages", you've made a value judgment that says more about the prejudices and biases you presently hold, and very little about the 9th and 10th centuries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jun 2011 at 23:59
That is a good clarification and one that is more in line with objective evaluation than simply a unilinear philosophy of history. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2011 at 09:51
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

What is Comparative History and is it valid given unique cultural biases?
OK doctor, this is not a question, there are at least two. I'll just go for the first.
 
What is Comparative History? - Comparison between different societies at a given time or sharing similar cultural conditions. This is the only definition/description of it that I think is sufficient but can be problematic because of that darn or. Is that an XOR or a simple OR? And what does similar cultural conditions (SCC) mean?
 
Let's have a look at the or. My guess ist that is XOR - excusive disjunction, or dismbiguation. In order to fulfill such a requirement CH should analyse either societies that share a given time period or societies that have SCC, but not both. Therefore it would be OK to use it on Japan - Europe centuries X - XV,  for example. But it cannot be used for Japan XV-XX and Europe X-XV. Unless these last two societies have SCC.  Well, do they? Well they do share some (writing, music, metalurgy, etc.). Oh, wait that works also for the first comparison. Then that rules the first use of CH because Japan - Europe centuries X - XV, also share SCC. Back to the beginning.
Given time - that at least is something that can be accurately established. Problem not here.
Similar Cultural Conditions (SCC) - how can this be defined? Oh, wait a minute:
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The comparative requires the postulation of basic assumptions that in and of themselves may carry a bias (or exigency) totally divorced from the realities of the societies contrasted or juxtaposed
Bleah, that will lead nowhere. No, hold on, let's go back to the top.
Is CH valid? Simple answer: yes if it leads to valid results. Now, there it is. WHAT is CH giving as a result?
Frankly, that's the bias. Comparison is a tool widely used and should not be excluded in History. Therefore it is not CH, as a tool, that is to be blamed if weird stuff pops up.
Biased assumption or (inclusive disjunction here) biased objectives, that's what would make a person think that CH might not be "valid". This is the part where the peer review should be the thing, so let's leave it to the historians. CH is neither universally accepted or rejected. One thing is very important to notice: Societies are complex systems, therefore they behave accordingly. No matter what CH does, it could never explain all about a society. It can reveal some important aspects and can help refine our knowledge regarding the driving mechanisms of the human society at some point in History. Psychohistory is the tool to use when predicting what would a society do in the future. We need Hari Seldon and the Galactic Empire (not Palpatine's one)!
My guess is that CH is a tool that can, maybe even should be used. But it's not the ultimate istorical instrument. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2011 at 13:38
Comparing different histories is important. First, it takes away the ideas that different societies must advance through the same stages. When you have a country with a similar situation but different outcomes, it makes people realize that there isn't a clear outcome to history.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2011 at 19:02
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The comparative requires the postulation of basic assumptions that in and of themselves may carry a bias (or exigency) totally divorced from the realities of the societies contrasted or juxtaposed. Therefore, Fantasus, the caution I iterated. For example the minute you utter a statement such as the "Dark Ages", you've made a value judgment that says more about the prejudices and biases you presently hold, and very little about the 9th and 10th centuries.
I must ask if You read me something like in this example:" The people I know of that makes the claim "A" invariably really means "B" , therefore since what You have uttered seems very similar to "A" You probably mean "B"? (a little thing:I think it is the first time in this discussion "Dark a Ages" are mentioned).
Anothjer question we may ask is what "realities" we are discussing, regarding different juxtaposed societies. You are right our view of a past era and society may differ widely form the view of the people living then. Then the question about the "reality" rises. Often we may not be very well able to fully understand those people, and there ´can be reasons not to identify their views with "reality".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2011 at 22:05
Given all the verbal jumps, Fantasus, what can I say other than even "reality" is circumstantial and such a realization should warn you with respect to moral or value judgments being put forth as History. Not that I am being whimsical but Emily Dickinson caught this point aptly in a very biting quatrain (1852):
Sic transit gloria mundi
How doth the busy bee,
Dum vivimus vivamus,
I stay my enemy!
 
Frankly, I am among those that dwell in the camp of Comparative Historiography rather than  Comparative History, because the former permits direct analysis of how one's own weltanschauung colors conclusion and ignores contextualism. For example, J. P. A. Pocock in tackling Gibbon does a marvelous turn on the "how" and "why" shaping the old historian's "take" on Rome and its dissolution. In shorthand: the term libertas has had a long march through History but is an old Roman personal virtue the same as that scantily clad Marianne at the barricades?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 07:18
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Given all the verbal jumps, Fantasus, what can I say other than even "reality" is circumstantial and such a realization should warn you with respect to moral or value judgments being put forth as History. Not that I am being whimsical but Emily Dickinson caught this point aptly in a very biting quatrain (1852):
Sic transit gloria mundi
How doth the busy bee,
Dum vivimus vivamus,
I stay my enemy!
 
Frankly, I am among those that dwell in the camp of Comparative Historiography rather than  Comparative History, because the former permits direct analysis of how one's own weltanschauung colors conclusion and ignores contextualism. For example, J. P. A. Pocock in tackling Gibbon does a marvelous turn on the "how" and "why" shaping the old historian's "take" on Rome and its dissolution. In shorthand: the term libertas has had a long march through History but is an old Roman personal virtue the same as that scantily clad Marianne at the barricades?
Then I have to ask why You warn me about that. There may be several possibilities why You do so, but one could be that You see moral or value judgements as the central issue of my earlier posts.
If so, then my answer is I do not at all see myself in that way. Is it that I have mentioned some of Webers views or what else is it that makes You think so?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 19:49
The bottom line, Fantasus, is that there is no single key that unlocks all the boxes of History and Weber with his rational bureaucracy as the expression of society is just as deterministic as Marx with his dialectical materialism as the governing principle for progress. The minute one begins to interpret a past in terms of one's own definition of an idea or the ideal then one has disrespected the constructs governing that particular past. We see such deconstructions repeatedly here on AE where the word genocide is abused into the past with respect to the Americas. The minute one intrudes a "right or wrong" in History without recognizing the dynamics of that instant in time one is not comparing but instead evaluating within the ambits of one's own desiderata.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 20:20
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The bottom line, Fantasus, is that there is no single key that unlocks all the boxes of History and Weber with his rational bureaucracy as the expression of society is just as deterministic as Marx with his dialectical materialism as the governing principle for progress. The minute one begins to interpret a past in terms of one's own definition of an idea or the ideal then one has disrespected the constructs governing that particular past. We see such deconstructions repeatedly here on AE where the word genocide is abused into the past with respect to the Americas. The minute one intrudes a "right or wrong" in History without recognizing the dynamics of that instant in time one is not comparing but instead evaluating within the ambits of one's own desiderata.
I still have some difficulties, not least when You set "determinism" side by side with "right and wrong", since these are separate issues. Ideas about determinism and "right or wrong" - or value judgements or moralism are not at all the same. And what is meant by "constructs governing the particular past" does not at all stands very clear to me. It even raises problems of its own, since any "past" - except perhaps instant moments - are in some way dependent upon the choice of historians, as is the choice regarding what is regarded as a culture or a society.  A history made up of separate "instants in time", easily ends up in something rather absurd when taken too literally.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 20:26
Why is it absurd fantasus? Can history not have isolated cases beyond the norm of our progressive calculations and understanding? The doc is right with regards to our bias and constructs in defining a past civilization. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 20:31
Try this little capsule as needed medicine:
 
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 20:35
True! A  proper example for this discussion. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 20:42
Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:

Why is it absurd fantasus? Can history not have isolated cases beyond the norm of our progressive calculations and understanding? The doc is right with regards to our bias and constructs in defining a past civilization. 
The absurdity arises if we take the word "instant" literraly. Imagine only the life of a person as consisting of unrelated instants, splitseconds , or "snapshots".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 20:54
Yes that is absurd and I am with you on that. We know that civilizations and inventions do not prop up in an instant. Thus, its a given not to give it (instant) credible consideration. Nothing happens out of a vacuum though. Point is there are aspects of past economies, inventions, and splendors that we do not know much about but we tend to haphazardly categorize them along linear timescales. It's like when we run into a nondescript area of the unknown, we go running home to mommy for assurance and peace of mind. So she tells us of what she knows. Doesn't mean she really does know.


Edited by Seko - 18 Jun 2011 at 21:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 21:41
I guess I must restrain my figuratives in English and refrain from the metaphorical when communicating to non-English speakers. An instant in time could be but a day or an entire century if one wishes to take a historical perspective that might encompass the thousands (or the millions if we start with Lucy!), but if we are to draw upon the required "literate" consideration we are still discussing the thousands of years. Given that I was not speculating scientifically such as Planck Time nor musing on the infinite divisibility of Time per Aristotle (Physics), but nevertheless still within the ambit of periodization as concerns History and its coherent intervals, I can still refer to the "Dark Ages" as but an instant in historical time. Future recommendation: stop parsing my every word for meaning!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2011 at 00:25
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Try this little capsule as needed medicine:
 


So, you don't consider Victorians greedy? Interesting. I bet you have a steampunk time machine at home.
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