History is by definition the self-recorded account of human behavior and its evolution. It is part of both, the Origin of Consciousness and the Origin of Mind that are described by the scientific community as two of the three pivotal periods of demarcation for the evolution of organisms on this planet (the first of course being the Origin of Life).
History is nothing more than the physical record of human events as seen by human beings. It is the self-described archeological account of human evolution. And by all accounts is merely an incidental record of events and non-events that comprise that record. What the story of history tells us, in a chronological, multi-dimensional fashion, is the phylogeny of the human experience as it has changed over time. Particular to the study of history, is that it is documentation by humans of human events, in combination with other fixed or permanent records (archeological, etc.) that yields a sequential comprehension that is recorded as “history”. However, in order to expand our awareness of human “history” as an extension of primate evolution, it is necessary to integrate other methodologies of science and self-evaluation into an explanation that encompasses the labyrinth of the human organism’s experience within the various ecosystems and the earth’s biosphere. With the state of science being what it is, it is entirely within the realm of human grasp, to step away from the process of which we are part, to take a broader measurement of our existence.
Being that history consists of human documentation of our own evolution over time, provides a unique and unusual perspective to this archive of behavior that separates it from the other sciences, as we now know them to be. In doing so, the current state of the historical account also limits our analysis of what is concrete and what is opinion. In the hard sciences such as paleontology, biology, botany or biophysics, observed relationships between points of comparison are much more finite and correlative. They are tangible and can be explained in the context of mathematical relationships and imaginative measurement systems.
Certainly, there are mathematical corollaries between various events and stages in human evolution, or recorded events of the human organism, such as the transmission of information (and its evolvement) between societies or from one generation to the next. This corresponds to the phylogenies that encompass the human experience. When Goethe teaches Kant and Kant teaches Hegel and Hegel teaches Karl Marx and his other students, there is a chronological transmission that has taken place between generations over time. As an aspect of history, we record the output of specific individuals, such as the authoring of a particular text or work of art and on occasion, record their relationships and impact, directly and indirectly, with their students. Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle would be a simple example of a direct transmission. I use the term, phylogeny or phylogenesis here, to describe that relationship. Examples of indirect transmission, would be other people’s works that a creator of work, encountered. Some of these works are extant in the historical annals, while others are now extinct and we only know about them through secondhand accounts. But we do know of their impact on the author at that time, either through his own testimony or through other writers living at the time. Concurrently, another form of transmission takes place between societies or cultures when a work or written account is translated from one language to another. This process enables one society to pass on their thoughts or understanding to another society or culture. This is a key milestone in human evolution and represents a sidereal or latitudinal transmission from group A to group B.
Within the human account of “history”, as points of perspective, there is both the phylogeny of human behavior and the ontogeny of the human organism. Each perspective provides a relationship to fixed points in human behavior. Similarly, the behaviors of specific individuals in “history” are different and have mathematical corollaries depending on whether they are accounted for by a perspective of phylogeny or ontogeny. Both perspectives are useful and each provides a different vortex from which the historical analyst will view the historical phenomena. It is important for the “historian”, as an analyst, to understand their relationship to the events in question and from the point they are viewing the phenomena in question. These are the suppositions upon which any of their observations or conclusions will be derived. By this, I want to be clear, that history as an account of events is in motion and is relative to the consciousness of the historian and the account at a particular point in time.
To Be Continued…
© 2010 Steven P. Mitchell