Category: Common Topics

History

“The past is the present unrolled for inspection, the present is the past gathered for action.” -Will Durant

We read historians – our history of Western Civilization in particular draws its historiography from Herodotus as the original historian.

Historians:

History of Western Civilization

We tend to think in terms of the Ancient, Medieval, and Modern periods.

That which hath been is now, and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.  Ecclesiastes 3:15

“The past is the present unrolled for inspection, the present is the past gathered for action.” -Will Durant

“History is the fruit and the proof of man’s freedom.” -Reinhold Niebuhr

Theoretical Historians:

Inferring a pattern to history that extends beyond sufficient causes, the theorist adduces a scheme.  This is sometimes called ‘internal’ causes, referring to the free choices of man and the will of God.  Examples –

  • Moses (Genesis)
  • St Augustine (The City of God)
  • Thomas Hobbes
  • Edward Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)
  • Voltaire
  • Leopold von Ranke  — a peculiar example
  • H. G. Wells
  • Will Durant
  • Arnold J. Toynbee (A Study of History)
  • Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the West)
  • J.M. Roberts (The Penguin History of the Word)

The Ancient Theory of History:

The gods make history, and man succeeds or falls in his relation to the gods.  Most ancient theories of history pessimistically consider that doom of man, an eternal servant to the deity.  There is a beginning, and for some and end.

The Classical Theory of History:

“Nothing happens in the universe if you consider the infinite time past” – Epicurus

“The Rational soul wanders around the whole world and through the encompassing void and gazes on infinite time and considers the periodic destructions and rebirths of the universe and reflects that our posterity will see nothing new and that our ancestors saw nothing that we have not seen” – Marcus Aurelius

We see a similarity in the view of history between the Epicurean and Stoic schools.  Time is considered infinite, and therefore repetitive.  The relation is necessary, as that which has no beginning cannot end, and cannot have a point of causation, but only intermediate causes.

Reinhold Neibuhr points out that Thucydides begins his history considering Athens to be a novelty in history (progressive), but ends his work resorting to basic classical historical pessimism.  For the Greeks, natural causation becomes a focus and sufficient to explain efficient cause.  The gods themselves are subject to history.

The Medieval Theory of History:

The Christianization of the West leads to an understanding of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Man.  The relation of these two historical forces and their patterns, as well as the position of time in its relation to the eschaton (end of the Kingdom of Man) becomes the focus of particular theories.  Time is conceived as limited, having a beginning and end, which implies progress along a line.  This concept, inherited from the Hebrew conception of prophecy and fulfillment leads to ‘progressivism’ as opposed to basic ‘pessimism’.

“Humility is as profitable to those who serve as pride is harmful to those who rule” — St. Augustine, City of God XIX:15

The Modern Theory of History:

The Modern Theory of History is fundamentally progressive, yet paradoxically resurrecting the idea of infinite time, this theory views human dynamism as producing the desired stasis of history.  A theory of ‘Whig History’ sees the emergence and perfection of History as the very structure of history itself.

History Timeline

World History Website

Histomap

Comments Off on History

Hosea

Hosea:  “The Lord Saves” Hosea cannot bear to speak of judgement without speaking of redemption.   For this reason, we think of Hosea as the prophet with the biggest heart….

Hosea:  “The Lord Saves”

Hosea cannot bear to speak of judgement without speaking of redemption.   For this reason, we think of Hosea as the prophet with the biggest heart.

Continuing a theme detected in Amos, Hosea expounds on the ripening evil of the Kingdom of Israel, and is commanded to take a harlot as his wife, to illustrate with his life amidst his countrymen the pain of estrangement that exists between God and his people.

We encounter the three children:  Scattered, Unpitied, and Stranger.

In Chapters 1 and 2 we see fine examples of Chiasm, Chapter 3 clarifies and specifies the situation in Hosea’s immediate future.

The Chapters 4 through 10 are meditations on the events of Hosea’s day.

 

The Circumstance of Hosea’s prophecies

Comments Off on Hosea

Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets are only minor in their length.  Considered in their transcendent number of ’12’, they are witnesses, like the apostles, in history short enough to be contained on one…

The Minor Prophets are only minor in their length.  Considered in their transcendent number of ’12’, they are witnesses, like the apostles, in history short enough to be contained on one scroll.  We have been thinking a lot about the Assyrian power, so here is a way of arranging the prophets by the Gentile powers under which they appeared:
1.  Assyrian Period (9th through 7th century BC):  Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, (Isaiah), Micah, Nahum.
2.  Babylonian Period: (612 through 549 BC): Zephaniah, (Jeremiah), Habakkuk, (Daniel), (Ezekiel)
3.  Persian Period:  (549 BC through 433 BC):  Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Comments Off on Minor Prophets

Patriarchs

Abram to Joseph – the time of the Patriarchs.

From the time of Abram’s exit from the city of Ur, probably during the Gutean chaos of the late 3rd millennium BC, until the entry into Egypt in the time of Joseph marks the era of the Patriarchs.   We find this story recorded in Genesis chapters 12 through 50.

Find a timeline of the Patriarchs here.

Comments Off on Patriarchs

Relation

What conditions are in effect?  a fortiori What comes first?  a priori – in time or causation. What happened immediately before and after X? causation – a posteriori did _…

  • What conditions are in effect?  a fortiori
  • What comes first?  a priori – in time or causation.
  • What happened immediately before and after X? causation – a posteriori
    • did _ cause _? modus ponens/modus tollens
    • If _ is true, what cannot be true? contradiction (square of opposition)
    • Are _ and _ mutually exclusive, or can they coexist?  contrariety (square of opposition)
  • Ramification
    • What were/would be the effects if the choice is affirmative?
    • What were/would be the effects if the choice is negative
  • Final Cause
  • Efficient Cause
  • Sufficient and Necessary Cause
  • The knowable and unknowable — aporia

The laws of reason bound the possibilities of inference.

The activities of human reason:

  1. Simple Apprehension – Term
    1. sense perception – perception
    2. image – imagination
    3. abstraction – intuition
  2. Judgement – Proposition
    1. a connection of abstractions
    2. logical relationship of ideas
    3. truth or falsehood
  3. Inference – Conclusion
    1. deductive – universal
    2. inductive – particular

Formal Logic provides validity of an argument (terms, propositions and conclusions) as to their proper connection.

Propositional Logic and symbolic logic are abstractions of the relation of propositions through logical operators.

Material Logic examines the content of terms.

Comments Off on Relation

Religion

Related apparently to ‘Religare’ to ‘tie back or recapture’ in Latin, man’s efforts to recapture the gods that seem to have deserted him are the subject of religion.  Plato would…

Related apparently to ‘Religare’ to ‘tie back or recapture’ in Latin, man’s efforts to recapture the gods that seem to have deserted him are the subject of religion.  Plato would place religion prior to the ethics of politics, believing that without a sense of the sacred there can be no basis for people to live together.  Aristotle places this in the realm of formation that must come before cultivation of the virtues.

Some place religion in the realm of the sense of transcendence.

Society is impossible without inequality, inequality intolerable without a code of morality, and a code of morality unacceptable without religion — Napoleon Bonaparte

Modern man is no different from the ancient in his need for a transcendent understanding.

 

The modes of worship in Rome were considered equally true by the people, equally false by the philosopher, and equally useful by the magistrate — Edward Gibbon

Comments Off on Religion

Research Plan I

Research Plan I – Friday Week 6 The research plan will eventually evolve into the arguments and grammatical material (logic and grammar) of the Thesis. Beginning with an invention sheet…

Research Plan I – Friday Week 6

The research plan will eventually evolve into the arguments and grammatical material (logic and grammar) of the Thesis. Beginning with an invention sheet based on the Working Hypothesis, the student conducts an ‘A.N.I’ (affirmative, negative, interesting) assessment based on the Five Common Topics. These results, mostly questions, will indicate the direction of research.

The Five Common Topics are:

Definition
Comparison
Circumstance
Relation
Authority

Arrange your questions by these categories, approaching each as a positive, a negative, and an ‘interesting’ aspect of the question.

Comments Off on Research Plan I

Sparta

A Greek city state, the largest in the classical Greek world, characterized by oligarchy (timocracy) and a purposeful conservatism. Documentary:  The Rise and Fall of Sparta Government structure:  

A Greek city state, the largest in the classical Greek world, characterized by oligarchy (timocracy) and a purposeful conservatism.

Documentary:  The Rise and Fall of Sparta

Government structure:

spartagovt

 

Comments Off on Sparta

Synechdoche

With this trope we realize many things from one, the whole from the part, the genus from the species. “Heads must bow beneath this roof or taste my steel.” “Give…

With this trope we realize many things from one, the whole from the part, the genus from the species.

“Heads must bow beneath this roof or taste my steel.”

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

“When robbing a bank avoid the badges.”

 

Comments Off on Synechdoche

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search