Knowledge & History

They say those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. But what is history anyways, but the outplay of human nature? Though true to the extent that knowledge can warn individuals about potential downfalls, it seems that the quote is misleading about what knowledge can actually safeguard against.

After all, someone who knows about history is no less susceptible to repeat it. Thus, while knowledge has its pros, it seems to be a tool and thus subject to how someone uses it.

This caveat does not undermine the power of knowledge nor the importance of history. Instead, this begs the questions about what knowledge does afford and, for this quote in particular, how one should use knowledge about history.

Perhaps, instead of focusing on the accumulation of knowledge and how not to live, the investigation should ask “how to live well.” To this end knowledge about the past is important as it accounts what the Good life might be.

A.C.

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