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Time and time again - a discussion of the use of historical knowledge.
Posted 8/11/07 , edited 8/12/07
Does history repeat itself?

Discuss!

From this you can branch into the questions;
Is it worth learning history?
What counts as history?
How does history affect the present?
Is history fact?

edit; a few more questions which have arisen in the discussion...
Is history everything which everyone alive remembers?
Is it everything which ever occured?
Does it have to be significant to be history?

Or anything else you want to about the subject of knowledge in "History"

edit; Please no getting into the "herstory/history" argument.

edit; I enjoyed Eros and Jamehze's answers - I agree that my question was ambiguous to the point of not being truly answerable. It was like that to show how people agree with something without really thinking it through. (therefore history never repeats itself as the universe will never be in the same configuration again).

History is not fact! It is all subjective, and any subjective view is not fact. It is knowledge, but not fact as it can never be proven (without time travel, but that's another argument).

I loved the use of dictionary definitions, especially;

[history is] the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.

Now, define knowledge!

Finally a quote from Douglas Adams;
"Anything that happens, happens.
Anything that in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen.
Anything which in happening causes itself to happen again, happens again.
It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order though."
- enter chaos theory. ^_^
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29 / F / near the sea
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Posted 8/11/07
yeah l think the repeat itself e.g the wars

for me l beleive strongly that we have to learn about the world history as a part of this huge world..
l like history and l like to learn more about my world or at least my country :D
and about its effects.. l can say that without the history we will not reach to this level of development
So l wish u like my opinion
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Posted 8/11/07
I think History is good to know in general because it can help in some situations...
And it is interesting also ^^

I think that what counts as history is what changed many countrys and what changed the world in a way.

History effects the present how the history was mold and what it did... Like if there would have been nuclear war in cold war then many things would've changed.

Many things in history was fact but on the other hand... Many things wasn't.

I don't think history repeats itself...
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Posted 8/11/07
See, in WWII, there were concentration camps across Europe and they are still there today. We know that what the German did was wrong, so the world is making sure such events will not happen again
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28 / M / Home of SeaBiscuit
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Posted 8/11/07
History does repeat itself cause we keep one attempting to defy history. Unfortunatly, sometimes/ most of the time it fails so we just end up repeating it.

If you don't succeed, try try again?
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31 / M / San Francisco CA...
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Posted 8/11/07
wow good catch! im a history major.... yes History will repeat itself IF we dont learn from the past.

what we make/do today may affect the future... as we all know.

up to know we still havent learned the lessons from vietnam.

because of the Iran-Contra affair, Iran now has the capability to produce nuclear weapons

If former president kennedy would'nt send its troops, then Fidel Castro wouldnt have much grudge on US attitude in Cuba (the bay of Pigs massacare)

and most of all, If CIA havent trained the jihadists in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan ('79-'89) and shouldnt have collaborated Osama bin laden, then it would be easy for the US to ease global terrorism.

to the obvious: if Gorbachev didnt resign, then there would still be an arms race ESPECIALLY cold war between the US and USSR... (also there would still be an "east" berlin and "west" berlin)

If the US athourities had listen to the Philippine authorities about the capture of Ramzi Yousef and their bretheren's (al-qaeda) plan on attacking the US then There would be no 9/11

but some good deeds may change who we are today:

Holocaust would continue today if we havent done anything in the second world war (obviously)

stalinist Korea would be ruled by KJI if the UN didnt make a move.

If hitler was accepted in Munich art academy, then by now we would have been a reknowned artist in Germany rather than a dictator.

AND MUCH MORE IMPORTANT:

If it havent been for Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, then by now we will ALL be naked





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29 / M / US
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Posted 8/11/07
The task of the historian is to relate individual events. By and large, it is the study of human activity, and grander, the universe unfolding. So, yes, I would say history is worth studying.

Such a phrase as, "history repeat itself", is terribly vague. What exactly is meant? I venture nothing much exactly much of the time except a vague pointing out of the notion that something occurred before is occurring again. I came on CR yesterday, and I came on it again today. Or simply noting that genocide (a general term) occurred over and over. In that sense, of course. In the sense of exact repetition? Of course not.

Then again, if one wants to get more grand and philosophical about it, saying something such as, that history itself follows a certain kind of trend. Perhaps this kind of train of thought comes from the likes of Marx and Hegel who attempted to reduce history to a few guiding principles. Or perhaps it was largely guided by political intent through aphorisms such as, "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them" (George Santayana). I'm not sure, though it would be interesting to track the etymology of the phrase, rather then just arguing over interpretations now.
Thats all for now.
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Posted 8/11/07
Respectively-

1. Yes, most diffidently.

2. record of events: a chronological account of past events of a period or in the life or development of a people, an institution, or a place. (Thank you Encarta, for helping me put that into words!)

3. History sculpted the modern world as we know it. This being said past events have held such effect on us that it remains a part of the Human psyche that is instilled through culture. Even simple sayings, phrases, and quotes we spill out without knowing their origination are a piece of history. “It’s Greek to me,” is a quote from a Shakespeare play. “Free Lance” comes from the knights of the medieval world who were free for higher. History also plays a roll in politics, though many nations in the modern world are starting to neglect the importance of it. History gives us not only a better understanding of how large masses of people react to certain situations, thus allowing us to better understand the general mind of the Human people (which further leads to the understanding of everybody’s brotherhood and unity) but also a valuable piece of our identity.

4. Yes. It is “Historical” fact. Not mathematical fact, which is the only true form of fact available to us, but a form of it none the less. That’s most of it. A lot of history is, however, complete theory.
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31 / M / Iloilo City, PH
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Posted 8/11/07
most of history is one-sided... and if indeed history is mathematical it can be predicted... but good luck in trying though coz' that's not the case...
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Posted 8/11/07

henz_lan wrote:

Does history repeat itself?

Discuss!

From this you can branch into the questions;
Is it worth learning history?
What counts as history?
How does history affect the present?
Is history fact?

Or anything else you want to about the subject of knowledge in "History"

edit; Please no getting into the "herstory/history" argument.


Two reasons why it is worth learning history:
1. It is an amazing look into how the human race has developed and made changes in the world.
2. You learn from history. You recognise what went wrong with governments, etc., and you can make sure that you don't make the same mistake.

History is anything (hopefully important) that is in the past.

History effects the world everywhere. Governments and people form groups based on Roman and Greek ideas.
Many expressions that we have today are thousands of years old.

Is history fact? Don't know what you mean by that. But yes, it's all fact, unless you don't believe in evolution or something (I don't).
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31 / M / Holy Grail
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Posted 8/11/07
yeah you must know the history. when you make clothes or architectural design if the client offer a house with a roman architecture. history can do a lot more most of all in art ahaha
Posted 8/11/07
History Repeats Itself.

yup. It's true. kinda

The death of Grace Kelly in a car accident was also done by Princess Di.
The explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii was also done by Mt. Pinatubo.


My mom's 10th time to get into her diet... yup. It keeps repeating. XD

hahahaha. XD Mom.
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Posted 8/11/07
There is a phrase which came to me when I first read about this topic--it is related to something like--the key to the future lies in the past. It is related to the idea that our ability to move forward is very much dependent on how we study our past... extracting ideas, learning valuable lessons, etc. As many others have said, history is not just about a series of events which occurred at an earlier time and now documented. History is also about understanding why things happened the way they were. Culture is also a part of history too.
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30 / F / Canada, BC
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Posted 8/11/07
History does have a habit of repeating when people don't learn from it.

Examples:
After WWI an organization called the League of Nations was formed which was supposed to stop another war like WWI from happening again but that didn't work out because some countries were given more power than others. After WWII the League of Nations was transformed in to the UN, but yet again China, Russia, France, England, and the United States were given more power than the rest of the countries which let the war on Iraq go through. (I'm oversimplifying here, there are a lot more factors involved but I'm too lazy to type them all out.)

When Napoleon was on his "I want to conquer the world" phase he went into Russia in the dead of winter and suffered a humiliating defeat, and instead of learining from this very powerful historic lesson Hitler goes in and makes the same mistake.

History is full of repeated mistakes.
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26 / M / Rhode Island
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Posted 8/11/07
History does repeat itself, And it's kind of hard to prevent that. Many people think alike, and when your in such as Hitler and Napoleon, if you have the same idea on strategy, it's going to end the same. From what I've learned, Hitler admired Napoleon, even taking the time to stop by his grave in France and stay there for a while.

It's a matter of how big you are I suppose. I'm actually interested in going to look for past military and political instances in which someone in a powerful position took the same chance/Mistake.

-Edit-

Upon thinking a bit further after posting, If you think about it, Let's say a war was fought on a similar terrain as a leader was fighting on currently. If he refers back to the records and reads of past defeats and victories on similar terrain, he may be repeating history and capture victory in a similar way.

If you really want to get technical, history repeats itself in a small way every time someone ambushes another, since at one point in 'History' There was an ambush, and that started it all, leading to a similar victory.

*Think about what he just said.* Yeah, sorry if I sound like an idiot...it's because I am one. >.>
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