Theory Of Knowledge 2 Essay, Research Paper
History is part myth, part hope and part reality. Discuss this quote in relation to History and to at least one other field of study.
The study of history has been and will continue to play a major part in the lives of every individual and every community. Our history is our identity telling us where we come from, what we are and what our forefathers did and therefore plays a major in role in our constant search for knowledge and understanding of each other. The most common definition for history is a) the study of past events, esp. human affairs b) the total accumulation of past events especially in relation to human affairs or to the accumulation of developments connected with a particular nation, person, thing etc. c) a continuous usually chronological record of important or public events. In the second part of the definition the key words are past events especially in relation to human affairs . History is written by and recorded by humans and there is always an element of bias in it. Because of this we can say that History itself is a very complicated and interesting maze of events which give us hope for the future, insight into the reality that is mankind and the fiction of how the events of our time have been portrayed.
Reality is often a word that we regularly settle on in connection with History. It is our first thought; it is all the events in the past. For example we know that the Second World War ended in 1945 as in the same way we know that there were British colonies in Asia and Africa. We accept it as a fact but at the same time do we accept it at the same level. Is what I have learnt from different primary and secondary sources the same as what person X may have learnt? Do we view colonialism in the same perspective and whose version is more right ? For this reason we can say that History is part reality for it like everything else in the world has no one way of looking at things. We are all entitled to our own opinions. Everyone has their own so-called Map Of Reality which is influenced by status, perception, gender and everything that makes you what you are. When you pursue anything you carry a map of reality and when you tie this into the field of study which can be known as Pursuit of Knowledge we can see that History like knowledge is fragmented. All knowledge has parts, which in turn can never give us any feel of certainty. One part of History can be stronger. Myth may pull stronger or hope turning you into the optimist for the day. Today you trust science and the next it will be religion. History like Knowledge is like a Baobab tree, you can t put both arms around it .
We have already stated that history is fragmented and it seems that the best way to understand it is to try and touch as many parts of it (Myth, Hope, and Reality) as possible and thus incorporate more into your map of reality. However from this a slight argument evolves. Who is to say that all these different parts actually form together to make a whole? Can reality really exist with myth? It seems that it has done so and will continue to do so when you take into account the philosophies of psychologist Dr. Dipak Chopra the history that we study in our classrooms and in our day to day lives is all myth. The textbooks we use and read to study the past is all bias information. This is because it has been predominantly written by white males who have the desire to crusade for the sides that their forefathers fought for and by doing so provide sustenance for their own egos and their own race . Dr. Chopra is saying that a lot of what has been taught is all myth. But we have accepted this as reality so we are seeing myth and reality working together in our own global community. History is like life and in that sense nothing can be straightforward and simple. We as humans usually decide to do what is easier. We accept what our perception of logic is. We either use inductive logic or deductive logic to figure out what is logically possible in life. Inductive logic is very much like how we deal with history. In inductive logic we have the leap from the specific to the general. We take certain specific examples and from that we learn to generalize. This is not wrong for without some sort of generalization we would be perpetually trying to correct ourselves. An example of Inductive Logic:
Tom was suspended from school for fighting therefore I believe that all students will be suspended for fighting.
We assume that all students will be suspended because Tom was suspended. In the same we decide to accept what is presented to us as history because logically it is ok. We accept all facts to be true in a history book for example because some of them are. It is a logically sound decision.
From all this we can also add that History is a tool for us along with a subject. We can use to learn from mistakes and change. It is a reflection of life itself, which is a pursuit of knowledge. We know that history is subjective and fragmented where there is no ultimate truth and that is one of its greatest traits but in the same way it raises some questions. If there is no truth that brings all the ends together then how can it really be reality? Or does that say that reality itself has truth but it too is hard to find. It seems a bit upsetting to think that there is no truth in History. For it is a firm belief of many people that History is there to teach us not to repeat the past. A class example is the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Americans in World War 2. Is this a lesson that bad guys never win or that the atomic bomb should not have been used? Even now, with the lingering legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there still is a controversy. We have more knowledge about the bomb now, but does that mean we are closer to the truth we ardently pursue? I believe your knowledge is a myth and you believe mine’s is and we both think person X is just a bumbling fool for hoping it will never happen again. We all look at the same event, and see something else. Why? And it told us nothing in terms of the truth so is history and it’s parts just a farce? If history’s limitations are like those of knowledge, then that’s a farce too. Could we then boldly say that Life is a Farce too? Once again the same question arises. Do all the parts make up a whole? We live with the constant hope that atrocities of our past are not repeated. But can hope fit in with the myth and the reality of history. Hope is not only hope things get better or I hope that doesn’t happen again. hope is why we study history — we hope to embrace more of the Baobab tree but with an interesting twist we hope we are right too.
History plays an important part in our pursuit of knowledge where we want to acquire it and find the ultimate truth. History is made up of many parts, be it what we perceive as reality and what we logically settle on and discard as truth and fallacy. It is the basis for communication, education and change. And with it (be it myth or reality or both together in harmony) mankind looks to the future for prosperity, change and the ever increasing thirst for knowledge.