Reasoning History

We now pursue evidence, theories and testable assumptions more than ever. When I was younger, for those who know me, I’d love to self-proclaim as a reasonable person [now spotted a few flaws of doing so]. More required to be now as an academic.

Yet its no better time amidst of a historical event, to reflect upon this stream of thought, and how this pursue of reasoning has shaped our education, progression in science and medicine, religion and history.

The role and meaning of history has claimed to be shifted away from edification, by providing moral or political exemplars to emulate or to avoid and to offer cautionary reviews of past events to guide future action, to “objective description”, pure records of evidence and events – and nothing more.

For example, stark similarities were shared amongst terrible emporors in ancient China – as if they were reincarnations of the same person. This could be represented as a sign of caution for later Kings. Yet the scientific paradigm crowned objective evidence, we’d discuss and criticise whether this description of x really originated from a reliable source etc…Personal insights, first-person experiences and qualitative work has little role in publication (other than fictions duh). Arts and poems disvalued as nothing more than a niche hobby.

The traditional value of histories lay in shaping individuals and societies toward the highest ideals of their times. History under scientific lens demands individual’s ability to evaluate evidence, speculate biases, and moral awareness to bring true value into societies. This creates an easy opening for those in power to shape reality, mould expertise and build pseudo-authority by limiting access to information.

I encourage you to list a few things that does not require reasoning. I’d always loved to lay on my bed and stare into the blue sky as a kid – just realised over the weekend that I haven’t done so in years. Trying to do that more. Notice what you feel in this period of time. This, instead of what the history book says, will be your history when you look back in time. We create our own history.

Stay Safe. God Bless.

*note: I am not advocating anyone to disregard history, tradition etc., but to encourage oneself to make personal sense of history. Also encouraging myself to relax a bit 🙂

Author: joseph lam

On a Part-Time PhD Journey. Reflection on living Academia into a better place. 🇭🇰 Migrant in 🇬🇧

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