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Ford’s point

In the first statement, Ford’s point is that we should not dwell too much on the past and that we must put our entire focus in dealing with our present. He is espousing that we stop the seeming hypocrisy of recalling and looking back at past events. He has also created a dichotomy of the past and the present wherein he privileges the present. While the past is already done and unchangeable, the present is still up for grabs where we can still operate and do things that can have an impact.

When he said that “History is more or less bunk,” he might mean that history – the past — only dulls us and does not encourage us to activate ourselves. Like a bunk where sleeping is ideally done, the historicized past for Ford, encourages us to be excessively reflective. We are too crowded with reflections that we miss on doing concrete actions that can produce more tangible effects. The last part of this statement is likewise telling and supports my interpretations: “We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today.

” In this statement, Ford only made clear his predilection towards the present time. He also implied that this is how history must be viewed; it is being made in the present and we are the one’s making it. Perhaps he said that because he has seen how people has exaggerated history in terms of inquiring about, recording, looking at and interpreting it. Ford might be disgusted by this attitude of the people. He might think that what the people were doing was just a waste of time since they are minding over things that have already occurred.

He might want to redirect the focus of these people and make them share his views: that the present is where they must activate themselves and transfer their energies in doing things that can initiate progress. Personally, I would have to say that there are some points of Ford’s statements which I found arguable and there were some parts that I strongly agree with. Ford’s statement that history means nothing (to him) is something that I would like to question although that was his own feeling towards history and I cannot change that.

What I am saying is that I do not share his perception that history is meaningless. For me, history has a significant meaning and worth. It is like an abysmal cistern of the entire humankind’s past activities and the highs and lows that marked that long course – rise and falls of empires, civil wars and struggles for liberty and identity, advancement in thought and reason, creation, strengthening and collision of traditions, beliefs an ideologies. This collection of past human activities is something where we can resort to in obtaining lessons and ideas that we can use as we live the present.

These past events can give us ideas on how society has operated in the past and what were the implications and effects of that kind of operation to the people living during that time and to the subsequent time frames. On the other hand, I believe Ford was right in implying that we must live in the present. We must not linger too long in the past as we have the present to deal with and do things for ourselves and for others. The lessons we learn from the past can only see themselves being applied in the present so the present shall have greater importance than the past.

Question no. 2 History can be a science in the sense that it is comprised of events that may seem logical and scientific when you look at them after they happen. History is not stark science as they happen. Once the events in the history happen, they cement a path where logic and scientific thought can be cast on. In that case only will history be a science. For instance, during the Industrial revolution where machines were invented, the economic production of people has immensely improved. Looking at this specific case in history, we can say that what happened was scientific.

Naturally, when technology advances and machines are introduced, we can expect an upgrade in the modes of production. In some cases, however, history can be not exactly scientific. For instance, if a prominent Queen or Princess of a stalwart dynasty was announced to have eloped with a poor man. All the tenets of science seem to have been lost. What transpired largely goes against our expectations of what will happen based from our logical assumptions. If we think scientifically and esteem the use of reason, we might hardly expect an illustrious queen to elope with a person opposite her social status.

Cases like these prove that history can be unscientific as well. Meanwhile, Science is not divorce from the past because science constantly refers back to it in order to verify its findings and cross-reference it conclusions. The data which Science studies also usually come from past events. Like geology which studies the vast yore of the planet Earth that dates billions of years ago. All theories that are formulated on the scientific filed are also not final and definite. They remain forever open for further inquiry and verification.

Hence, even though a scientific theory has been made in the past, it can still be checked, re-checked and adjusted. The famous example here is the previously held idea that the sun revolves around the Earth only to be proven otherwise in the next periods of time. In that sense, science does not totally extirpate its link with the past; rather, it maintains a connection to it by constantly updating the veracity of the previous claims it established. Science can offer the scientific method as a way of approaching history.

We can interpret history better when we are having a scientific guide. We might begin at pinpointing the sequence of events before interpreting the relations among these events. The scientific method is not a myth because it can be applied in many scholarly fields and in our daily lives. This method also gives organization to whatever we are doing or trying to analyze. Lastly, the relation among history, rationality and verifiable truth lies on the fact that we can trace the existence of rationality in history.

Furthermore, it is also through history that we can have a piece of verifiable truth. It was already discussed above how the events in history can reveal an underlying rationality that secretly holds these events together. History is the evidence of truth itself. Through history, we can verify the truthfulness of claims as the events enveloped in history have already happened and no one can strongly argue against that. In that case, history is a verifiable truth by itself which is usually drawn together by rational operations Question no.

3: Perhaps Thucydides’ point is that despite our purest intentions and biggest efforts to fulfill these intentions, there will be factors that can boomerang on us and threaten our actions. But in the end, the presence of the danger will only push us to assert that the situation we are facing is bearable. The presence of the danger can only motivate and challenge us further in accomplishing our mission and fulfilling out intentions. It will only impinge itself on us and dare us to raise the bars of ourselves and overcome the threats.

Indeed, Thucydides was right. When we expect the arrival of risks and pressure, or when they are already there, we are more likely to buckle up and brace ourselves for some ferocious struggle rather than flinch and run away. When there occurs a reverse in the ideal plan we mapped out in achieving a certain goal, we might be filled with fear and panic but only temporarily. We will soon realize the urgency to dispel the fear and panic and toughen up in the presence of a tormentor.

This view of Thucydides on the history of Athens reflects the problems hounding our society today and what are the best things for us to do to hurdle these problems. Most of the things happening in our society today go reverse with the ideal setting we might have in mind. This is the reverse we are witnessing and experiencing: criminality, terrorism, social inequality, poverty, hunger and environmental degradation. These are our problems. Worse, they seem to come in two-fold as we treat them as problems in more than one way. First, these dire situations are already problematic by themselves.

Second, these conditions can frustrate us seriously as they go against the things that we want to actually happen. If Thucydides is still alive, he may egg us to just keep on living and battle these conditions we are encountering now. What he said eras ago can still be applied today. Even though we were shocked by staring face-to-face with the things that are in reverse with the ideal we have set, there must be no excuse to desist and surrender. Despite the “pure scale of danger,” we must only persevere harder and extend our self’s abilities.

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