Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Dream of History

The dream of history may be described as self-knowledge. Jan Cox referred to the academic discipline of history as illusory. The motive behind studying history, as with so many things, is probably self-knowledge. There is a kind of search for self knowledge which actually involves hiding from real awareness. Some intellectual pursuits give the satisfaction of scratching an itch while avoiding the shock and joy of real understanding which requires among other things a certain kind of courage. As long as the procession of sentences can continue, one is protected from the self knowledge that real objectivity involves, while garnering the faint glow of intellectual creativity and curiosity.

An example of history as preserving illusions came to my attention this morning in the email summary of a scots newspaper. I quote from the Daily Scotsman,and in the quote below merely ask that you notice the assumption that the individual is capable of conscious action and responsible as an agent of action. What is history without this assumption--biology? but here is the quote :

"Fact of the Day

Today in 1625 Charles I came to the throne of England and Scotland. His reign would be turbulent and his clashes with the English Parliament, plus his handling of religious issues, led to civil war and his eventual beheading. Read more of Scottish history at


Thu, 27 Mar 2008

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