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- May 2022
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Consequently, we cannot understand the history of science if we take a narrow (that is, modern) viewof its content, goals, and practitioners.5. Such a narrow view is sometimes called “Whiggism” (an interest only in historical developments thatlead directly to current scientific beliefs) and the implementation of modern definitions andevaluations on the past.
Historians need to be cautious not to take a whiggist and teleological view of historical events. They should be careful to place events into their appropriate context to be able to evaluate them accurately.
The West, in particular, has a tendency to discount cultural contexts and view human history as always bending toward improvement when this is not the case.
link to Dawn of Everything notes
- Dec 2021
In a nutshell, then, there was never a time when humans uniformly lived in small, simple egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies, and a time when they started to switch to agriculture- thus inevitably switching to a sedentary, hierarchical, and more complex life style. This is not because the correct trajectory is a different one, but because there was never a linear trajectory to begin with.
Is there a reason or cognitive bias we've got that would tend to make us think that there's a teleological outcome in these cases?
Why should it seem like there would be a foregone conclusion to all of human life or history? Why couldn't/shouldn't it just keep evolving from its current context to the next