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Concepts of History

Concepts of History. Seating for class. Front of Room Lawler : P105 (Tu 12) P102 (M 11) P104 (Tu 9) P103 (M 12) P108 (W 10) P107 (F 11) P110 (F 10) P101 (W 12) P106 (F 12) P109 (Th 12) Monaghan Donohue Beverley. Question: Who said this?.

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Concepts of History

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  1. Concepts of History

  2. Seating for class Front of Room Lawler: P105 (Tu 12) P102 (M 11) P104 (Tu 9) P103 (M 12) P108 (W 10) P107 (F 11) P110 (F 10) P101 (W 12) P106 (F 12) P109 (Th 12) MonaghanDonohueBeverley

  3. Question: Who said this? • “Tonight is not an accident. There are no accidents. We have not come here by chance. I do not believe in chance when I see 3 objectives, 3 captains, 3 ships. I do not see coincidence, I see providence, I see purpose. I believe it is our fate to be here. It is our destiny. I believe this night holds for each and every one of us the very meaning of our lives.” • What is the word for this?

  4. And Who said this? • “Nothing happens by accident.” • Hint: it takes place on a desert planet after a certain Naboo spacecraft is forced to make an emergency landing because of a leaking hyperdrive.

  5. Evolution of human species 1 • Apes with upright posture, bipedalism • adapt to plains at edge of forests: spot anthills • Frees forelimbs for other uses • Large brain • Intelligently Designed complexity (by God)? • Selected or genetically engineered by ET breeding program (artificial selection)? • Failsafe defense against heat stroke through natural selection? (one Darwinian-type of explanation)

  6. Evolution of human species 2 • Bipedalism liberates forelimbs, allowing for other uses • That is not the purpose of bipedalism, but its effect, one of its consequences • Arms/hands adapt to tool use • clean sticks permit the drawing out of ants • Frees jaws for other uses • Mouth, larynx adapt to speech • Permits communication, group cooperation • survival advantage of this v. individualism

  7. Evolution of human species 3 • Two levels of evolution • Biological organism (previous slides) • Evolution of tools outside the body

  8. Evolution of non-biological components of the human being • Evolution of material tools • Simple to complex • Paleolithic > Neolithic • Evolution of mental tools (transmitted through language, songs, writing, etc.) • Culture is elaborated • Evolution of group social relations

  9. What makes humans human?

  10. Naked Ape? • Clothes • Robert Ardrey’s The Naked Ape ??? • Same anatomy, same biological species • What explains the differences between peoples?

  11. Explaining the differences • 1) Material Tools—operating on nature • Spears to computers • Clothes included • 2) Various social arrangements in which people relate to each other • 3) Mental tools: Education, Culture of hunter-gatherer Eskimo and 21st c. professor • By which people communicate with each other • And understand their relations to nature and to each other

  12. Difference between animal and human • Animal’s biological tools • Darwin: produced by chance variation and natural selection • Animal is born with its “tools” built in • Human’s non-biological tools • outside of the body • produced by human beings themselves acting purposefully • = purposeful self-creation (teleology)

  13. When did human history begin? • 1) History of biological presuppositions of human being • Changes in biology, physiology • Ardipithecusramidus/ australopithecusafarensis to homo sapiens (sapiens?) • 2) History of non-biological creations of human activity (material, social, and spiritual tools) • When did 2 become more important than or replace 1? = take-off point of distinctly human society

  14. Biology Tools

  15. Homo sapiens • “Our species has not changed anatomically since the earliest known appearance of Homo sapiens in the archaeological record about 120,000 years ago. The skeletons unearthed at the Klasies River mouth are no different from our own.” (Spodek, 21)

  16. Homo sapiens sapiens • “About 100,000 ago, however, a new creativity appeared in the cultural and social life of Homo sapiens, perhaps the result of a modification in the internal structure of the brain. The people who lived before this development are called ‘archaic’ Homo sapiens; those with the new cultural capabilities are considered a new subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens(Human wise, wise). They are us.” (Spodek 21)

  17. Evidence for Homo Sapiens Sapiens? • 1) Not physical: anatomically the same as Homo Sapiens • So why should there be a new species? • 2) Evidence of cultural differences: “Unlike their predecessors, Homo sapiens sapiens developed forms of symbolic expression, apparently spiritual and cultural in nature, including burial rituals and artwork that is sometimes stunningly beautiful and creative.” (Spodek, 21)

  18. Cause of cultural creativity? • 1) Biological-evolutionary cause (changes in brain structure) is postulated in “perhaps,” not proven by facts (anatomy) • =Biological (brain) changes (new species) cause changes in culture (form of consciousness) • = Causal scheme (scientific mechanism) • 2) Success of group allows time for free creativity by homo sapiens individuals • =Thought uses brain creatively: symbolic expression and interchange with each other • = Teleological explanation

  19. Three theories of history • Biological (nature) • Environmental (nurture) • Challenge and Creative Response (freedom in context)

  20. Continued biological adaptations: racial differences • Adaptation to Tropical climates: • increased melanin (eumelanin) protects against harmful sun rays (UV radiation) • But blocks vitamin D absorption • However vitamin D is available in abundant vegetation (also fish oil) • Adaptation to Colder climates • Lack of such abundant vegetation • Lower melanin allows for vitamin D absorption by skin (rosy cheeks of Caucasian baby); less danger of skin cancer from exposure to sunlight • >Secondary nature of such adaptations compared to differences in types of tools and patterns of cultural interchanges

  21. Human history is extra-biological • Social Darwinism > Hitler’s racial theory of history: • superiority of “Aryan race” explains Europe’s (esp. Germany’s) ascendency in the world • Do racial-biological factors explain difference between India and China? • We will see that non-biological explanations, based on challenge and creative response, can account for the basic differences • Course hypothesis: no need to invoke biological differences to explain main differences between civilizations • No mention of biological causes in Spodek’s text after first chapter

  22. Two kinds of non-biological approaches • Externalist: • explain differences (in early societies) as result of geographical conditions • =differences are learned not innate • = mechanistic explanation • Inner creative response to external challenges: • E.g., the difference between India and China as creative responses to different conditions • Incorporates teleology (purposeful choice)

  23. Freedom and Determinism • Environmentalism: deterministic -- outside causes, non-biological, historical science by external causes • Mechanical causes • Internal causes: Human creativity and freedom • Teleological purposes • Combine: Environment as necessary challenge, not as sufficient, determining cause

  24. How explain “leap” from animal to human? • Radical difference between two levels • biological presuppositions • human (purposeful) activity--extra-biological tools • continuity and discontinuity • Can lower level cause higher? • Through a natural process of growing complexity? • But human history primarily relates to extra-biological factors: no continuity with biological evolution • so “leap” to a radically different, irreducible level

  25. Relation of brain and mind • Is mind a product of matter, outside causes (mechanistic philosophy) • Or can mind move matter (body) by free thinking • Teleological cause of consciousness • Demonstration of mind moving matter

  26. Mind over matter • Am I free to move my body? • Does my computer cause me to think? • Does my brain cause me to think? • Or is it a tool I use to help me think? • >My brain is also a tool I use • Yogis can radically change brain wave levels at will (after much practice). • New medicine (psychosomatic): • change your mind, release stress • and stop producing unnecessary adrenaline

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