David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):471-495 (2012)
Abstract What is it for history to matter? Stephen Gould argued that unpredictability is part of the answer. For example, the “fact“ that repeated replays of the history of life would end differently every time is a sign that history matters to the course of evolution. But there is a problem here: if a particular point in the past leaves open alternative possible futures, then in what sense does that point in the past matter with regard to which of the outcomes occurs? We argue that unpredictability is central to the importance of history. However, it is not the unpredictability of the future, but rather the unpredictability of the past itself that is the key. History matters when a particular future depends on a particular past that was not bound to happen, but did
|Keywords||Stephen Jay Gould Historicity Chance Contingency Historical Sciences Evolution Narrative Explanation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
P. J. Corfield (2007). Time and the Shape of History. Yale University Press.
Clark Glymour (2001). Instrumental Probability. The Monist 84 (2):284-300.
John Beatty & Eric Cyr Desjardins (2009). Natural Selection and History. Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):231-246.
Alexander R. Pruss (2003). David Lewis's Counterfactual Arrow of Time. Noûs 37 (4):606–637.
Robert J. O'Hara (1992). Telling the Tree: Narrative Representation and the Study of Evolutionary History. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):135-160.
W. Clark (1995). Narratology and the History of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 26 (1):1-71.
Charlotte Werndl (2009). What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):195-220.
Derek Turner (2011). Gould's Replay Revisited. Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):65-79.
Rowland Stout (1996). Things That Happen Because They Should: A Teleological Approach to Action. Oxford University Press.
R. J. Hankinson (1998). Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought. Oxford University Press.
Jason Zimba (2008). Inertia and Determinism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):417-428.
Russ Hodge (2009). Evolution: The History of Life on Earth. Facts on File.
Robert J. Yanal (1982). Aristotle's Definition of Poetry. Noûs 16 (4):499-525.
Added to index2011-12-06
Total downloads46 ( #34,236 of 1,096,596 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #16,723 of 1,096,596 )
How can I increase my downloads?