Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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History, philosophy of.  ---  .This section is about philosophy of history.  Topics include:   ---  1/24/2006

History, philosophy of.  ---  (1) For the past 100 years almost everything is documented and analyzed and debated as soon as it happens (by using modern newspapers, magazines, journalism, photography and videography, computerized database statistical analysis, satellite photography, bugs, etc.).  (2) So today, the best history is first history (immediate study of current events).  (3) Except in some cases such as coverups and lies, and slowly developing stories that take years to conclude.  In these cases, later historical study may shed new light on the events.  (4) Another exception is when the development of new technologies makes it pay to go back and dig up old stories, old bones, old history.  Example: chemical testing of bones, DNA testing, etc.  (5) But in general, the academic discipline of history is greatly reduced today because history is written instantaneously.  And all that the historians today do is serve as librarians (i.e. record and archive keepers).  History is a dead discipline.  (6) In the future there will be real time recording of everything that happens.  ---  03/08/1997

History, philosophy of.  ---  (1) Pro history.  (A) Learn from history, so as not to repeat mistakes.  (B) Therapy.  Reliving the past is therapeutic.  (C) Two points (past and present) make a line, in order to chart the future.  (2) Contra history.  (A) We should be thinking about future, not the past.  (B) The world changes, and the past is no longer applicable.  (C) Driving and looking in rear view mirror too often is dangerous.  ---  4/28/1998

History, philosophy of.  ---  (1)(A) Analytic philosophy of history: what actually happened?  (B) Speculative philosophy of history: what does history mean?  Are there patterns?  What are the lessons to be learned from history?  (2) Two views of history:  (A) History as literature (subjective) to be written as art and critiqued as art using literary criticism theory techniques.  Vs.  (B) History as science (objective) to be done using scientific methods like statistical analysis.  Most historians are not taught scientific methods (like Sulloway used).  To paraphrase Sulloway, history can be viewed as psychology written large and past.  And psychology is approximately 50% biological in origin.  ---  03/01/1997

History, philosophy of.  ---  Are things random and chaotic or do they show a pattern or order?  If the latter, is it progress, decay, or cycle?  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  Basic attitudes toward the past.  (1) The past is worthless.  (2) The past is worth a lot.  ---  2/22/2000

History, philosophy of.  ---  Epistemology of history.  When is something a fact?  When there is proof for it.  But there are varying standards of proof, for example, proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  What standards of proof does one use when documenting history?  ---  5/13/2004

History, philosophy of.  ---  Eras.  (1) Brains vs. brawn.  Society once rewarded brawn over brains.  The physical strength of warriors and manual laborers was more highly valued than brains.  Today society rewards brains over brawn.  Geek ascendant.  (2) Society also alternates favoring other pairs of factors from one era to another, for example, interdependence over independence, and cooperation over competition.  Whichever factor is favored helps determine who prospers.  (3) How will these factors affect the evolution of humans?  ---  2/21/2000

History, philosophy of.  ---  Eras.  Different eras are faced with different problems, and thus different types of people become heroes in different eras.  One era's heroes will be unneeded and unhailed in another era.  Don't let it get you down.  ---  2/19/2000

History, philosophy of.  ---  Eras.  Life is so arbitrary.  What is needed in one age may not be needed in another age.  Thus, human traits that are valued in one time and place may not be valued in another time and place.  How cruel to have to tell someone, "In another time and place you would have been a great person, but in the here and now you are just an average person".  ---  1/30/2000

History, philosophy of.  ---  Historians do important work.  The truth does not always come out in the end.  Someone must drag it out, and shine a light on it.  There is much to learn in history.  This learning is tough to get.  It must be fought for.  This learning is often lost.  History can teach us things nothing else can.  ---  08/02/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  Historical knowledge, is it possible?  Can we isolate the determining variables?  Can we use historical knowledge to predict future?  ---  07/22/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  History is rich, but day to day life is poor poor.  ---  03/17/1989

History, philosophy of.  ---  How much time to spend studying the past?  When does it become too much?  When does it become bad rather than good?  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  How useful is it to go over your memories again and again if nothing particularly good or bad was ever done by you, or done to you (by others or nature).  The uneventful youth.  ---  01/22/1994

History, philosophy of.  ---  Human history is the story of mass misery at the hands of each other and the natural world.  ---  02/22/1989

History, philosophy of.  ---  If the situation is always changing, and always new, how applicable are old lessons (successes and failures)?  Ex. we can't do business like 100 years ago anymore.  Righting old wrongs, for the record, is all we can use history for now.  ---  11/30/1996

History, philosophy of.  ---  If your past sucked, like mine, due to hopeless mediocrity, neglect or abuse, on your part or on anyone else's, (1) You can either choose to forget it, or you can keep it in mind.  You do not want memories of it to hold you back from advancing, but you also want to learn from it, and not repress it either.  (2) And was it all 100% horrible, or were certain portions tolerable, or even enjoyable.  (3) (A) Must you hate it all?  Must you forget it all?  (B) Must you love it all?  Must you remember it all?  (C) Where is the happy emotional and memory medium?  What good over-rides what bad?  What bad over-rides what good?  ---  06/07/1994

History, philosophy of.  ---  Is there one true story, or many true stories, or does truth depend on your viewpoint?  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  Metaphysics of history, various views.  (1) Those who believe history is predetermined.  They are wrong.  (2) Those who believe progress is inevitable.  That is a big question.  (3) The nature of change.  See also: Philosophy, change.  ---  5/16/2004

History, philosophy of.  ---  Most important ideas about history.  (1) History of self is essentially psychoanalysis, and it is very important to.  Try to do at least half an hour a week.  (2) History of the world is good to know so that you have the big picture spanning time and space, in order to make the right choices in life.  (3) History is only half the story.  We must also think about the future.  Future studies is just as important as history.  Trend spotting, forecasting, and planning.  (4) Current events in your life.  Handling things well as they occur is best, so you do not have to do as much painful cleanup work (psychoanalysis).  ---  11/30/1997

History, philosophy of.  ---  Philosophy and history.  (1) Metaphysics of history.  Nature of time.  (See Philosophy, time).  (2) Epistemology of history.  Nature of historical truth.  Nature of historical justification via evidence and argument.  (3) Ethics of history.  We designate historical actions to be right or wrong.  We designate historical events to be good or bad.  ---  5/16/2004

History, philosophy of.  ---  Philosophy of history is a simple area that we have figured all out.  Philosophy of history has to do with concepts like change, causality, time, memory (see psychology), repression (on and individual and society level), psychoanalysis, and journalism (current events).  ---  09/28/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  Recognizing the importance of events long after the fact is common in the history of the world.  It is common also in the history of self.  ---  11/30/1997

History, philosophy of.  ---  Revisionist history.  Rewriting history to serve your ends.  People often see what they want to see in history.  People often distort the facts.  People often lie.  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  The "good old days" are when you are young and/or happy, no matter who you are.  It is not a time, it is a state of mind.  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  The written history of the world has too often been a written history of a series of wars.  ---  05/18/1997

History, philosophy of.  ---  There is just as much to be learned from micro-history (i.e., the story of individuals) as from macro-history (i.e., the story of nations and civilizations).  ---  9/12/1999

History, philosophy of.  ---  To be healthy, one must relive and sort out the problems and mistakes of the past.  Thus, doing history is an ethical imperative.  Like psychoanalysis.  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  We need different histories because different people have different interests (healthy and unhealthy), and different problems and needs due to their personal condition and the situations they are in.  ---  11/30/1996

History, philosophy of.  ---  What is the difference between history and case study?  They are really the same.  We use the case study method in many top universities.  But history has been relegated to a lower position, along with many other humanities.  ---  10/30/1997

History, philosophy of.  ---  When you waste time avoiding life you get repressed and held back, and fall behind the pack.  You have to go for your dreams.  You have to do things when you think of them.  ---  01/01/1993

History, philosophy of.  ---  Writing every single thing I remember (estir).  ---  02/20/1989

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.