On the philosophical relevance of the past and the future role of history
Some thinkers including some philosophers believe that history has neither present nor future role. Some others are of the opinion that it is of the past and at most ends in the present. Among these philosophers are Friedrich Hegel and Karl Popper. They both admit that history is a progressive achievement through the thoughts and its resulting actions of man. In the opinion of Hegel, history is of the past and it stops in the present. According to Popper the growth of human knowledge influences the course of human history strongly. They both deny that the course of history can be predicted. Hence for them, we cannot predict the future course of human history. This article agrees that history studies the past. But it argues against the submission of these philosophers by holding that history is relevant to the present and it has a predictive role. The work presents how history constitutes a mechanism of social change. It also presents the value of the past in the present, and the relevance of the past to the future. It establishes this relevance of the past to the future with culture and convention, custom and tradition, civilization, institutions, and disciplines among others. It concludes that history (the past) has some future, predictive roles to play in human and social affairs.
Keywords: Relevance of the Past, Present, Future Role of History, Prediction, Mechanism of Social Change, Social Evolution
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