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Philosophy of History

“I don’t know much about history, and I wouldn’t give a nickel for all the history in the world. It means nothing to me. History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today. ” Ford’s point in this interview by the Chicago Tribune is that he as a businessman doesn’t concern himself much about things of the past for they have already occurred. They are of no value anymore for him. The present is more relevant than the past.

We all just need to be in action and do what we must to attain progress. Henry Ford seems to be a man of action and is geared towards productivity. He was against any activity that will hamper production. Hence, he’s against war and labor unions; for him, these are both waste of time. He conceptualized things that will improve lives of workers during his time. Henry Ford contributed and altered the lives of many Americans. He has bearing in American history for his Model T invention that brought advanced automotive into the world.

He created a wave into American history for his dedication to his work. And his notion that his concern is of the present is apparent in his life. He simply worked and moved into achieving to today’s great contribution to technology and business industries. History is a science. It must be necessary to define science to further understand the point. Science is an organized body of knowledge and that it is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.

Science being described as such, leads us to the explanation that history, is a record of events in time; an organized body of knowledge of the study of the past. Pieces of evidence are investigated, studied, and interpreted. We gain knowledge through observation, identification, description, investigation and finally explanation of these findings. It uses narrative to study and analyze the order of events and attempts to objectively investigate patterns of cause and effect that leads to present day events.

These findings in history can help provide proper perspective on current day problems. (Evans) Facts are carefully examined and analyzed. These lead us to the interpretation of why things transpired which help us find solutions. Through this, we are able to avoid the same problem. Science is not divorced from its own past. The product of the past is carried onto the present. It was the building block of what we have today. Technology as what we enjoy is built by previous works resulting to more advanced products and innovations.

They are produced using the foundation that was built by early efforts. Both history and science are part of each other. They complement each other in such that, organization is relevant for both. The organized method of study in science is relevant in history. Scientists are able to discover things through the tedious process of the scientific method. Hypotheses have to be tested before concluding or reaching to a conclusion. It is a logical way of arriving to an answer to a question posed. Experiments have to be done to test hypotheses. Science has to be exact and accurate.

History, on the other hand, identifies events that were identified through traces or pieces of evidence left behind. The specific time in history may not be exact but approximation especially if the incident that we are trying to identify happened enormous years ago. Historical method do exist in order establish the credibility of a particular incident in history. It is relevant to follow this process to assure the accuracy of its occurrence. Both history and science have to be exact in their respective fields and must follow the process they need to follow in order to achieve accuracy.

Rationality must be present in both science and history. Criticism or challenging a particular theory is necessary to achieve an answer or to reach a conclusion. The truth may have already been there but it has to be proven accurate. “This was indeed the greatest reverse experienced by any Greek army. They had come with the intention of enslaving others and now found themselves in fear of enslavement themselves… and yet the pure scale of the danger still hanging over them made all this seem bearable” (Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, VII, 75, tr.

Martin Hammond) Thucydides recorded Athenian history with great objectivity and criticized himself as lacking in artistry while he took note of the war that transpired. He treated history as it is and without the glory of the gods in between the lines of his documentation. His treatment of the Athenian war, while witnessing dead bodies on top of another, plague, diseases, and the savagery of war before him, recorded through his eyes as he sees it. He was right when he muttered this in his records, for Athens was a great power.

Armed and prepared to conquer other cities like Persia and Sparta but it turned out that other nations were powerful and unconquerable than expected. Athenians refuse to bow to these nations and so, the fact that they will be enslaved made them fought hard. In these annals of history written by Thucydides, one can see his objectivity without judgment or biases. He wrote them as it is. His work was considered relevant more than the others due to this quality. History is a science – this is a fact that we must accept. Scientists might treat it as trivial due to the fact that history is just a record of events.

Henry Ford, a very influential man in history does not treat it seriously, though he himself has contributed an enormous contribution to American history. His point was clear, though that we need to move and act; we must not concern ourselves with other things. This attitude is necessary in his profession as engineer which paved the way to his concepts in automotive. The works he has done has history as its part. His improvements on technology during his time were also based on previous work done. This is a conjecture he simply made without much thought.

Historians still need to fulfill their tasks in treating events relevant for future generations. These are important stepping stones to learning from mistakes done. We are enjoying everything we have today due to learnings from the past. Thucydides’ objective work in the Peloponnesian war is a great contribution as he recorded the horrors of it during his time. These occurrences were similar to the wars that transpired in the 21st century without the advanced armaments used. He was considered the first historian who treated events with accuracy and avoiding biases.

He did not take rumors or hearsays into his annals unlike Herodotus. History was treated as a science by Thucydides which is how it is treated today. The absence of objectivity and accuracy will keep it from being credible. Great men have great things to say during their time. It is important that we hear what they have said and ponder on how we can apply their thoughts to the present time. If we cannot report history as objective as possible, then we will lose the context of history. If we lose the context of history, we will be very far from the actual meanings that we can derive from historical events.

It is the context of history where historical meanings reside. Without the context, the meanings will be subject to various interpretations in the current time. The supposed dialogue that should take place between the present and the past will be an illusion. This is because historical records will be subject to different interpretations according to the whim and fancy of the interpreters. Works Cited Evans, Professor Richard J. The Two Face of E. H. Carr. 2001. 13 May 2010 <http://www. history. ac. uk/ihr/Focus/Whatishistory/evans10. html>.

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