History as an AOK

History has always been a very influential part of our lives. It continues to teach us to not repeat the mistakes we have made in the past and how we can learn from those mistakes to better ourselves. History is the storytelling of our past, as people. Our cultures all stemmed from different areas and blossomed and branched out to new areas of the world, creating new history for the future generations coming from those new cultures to learn about and grow from.  A common phrase we hear throughout our life is, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Although this statement by George Santayana is seemingly true, we also learn a lot from new experiences, that have not yet been taught to us.

Unlike other areas of knowledge, history is written then taught. Another AOK such as the arts, is not typically written as it usually comes in the form of self expression through music, visual arts, performance arts, etc. But history is in its own special box. When we are taught history we are typically told that it is reliable because it is written on true events that happened. However, in a quote by Schopenhauer, he states that history can easily be imbedded with lies, “Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis.” Although the example he used to compare this with is quite vulgar, it is also straight to the point. Not every area of knowledge is completely pure of lies. Not even history. This means you cannot base your own understanding of something off of just one area of knowledge. All areas of knowledge work together simultaneously no matter what topic you are talking about.

The interesting thing about history is that there is no perfect definition for it. It is always changing. Everyday is a new part of history. In fact, right in this moment we are all experiencing a very important part of history, a global pandemic. Just as the quotation mentioned earlier said, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We have had multiple global pandemics throughout history and yet we have still managed to repeat how we handle it. We may be influenced by history, but many still do not learn from it.



3 thoughts on “History as an AOK”

  1. If history teaches us not to repeat our past mistakes, then how come are there still several wars when it is obvious that both sides are affected severely? There are casualties or an economic crisis usually.
    Why don’t we learn if history is teaching us?

  2. Adala, this is a good start, but it is too general. You need to refer to specific passages from several of the assigned articles; examine the tools and methods used by historians and readers of history to ensure accuracy; analyze alternative perspectives; compare & contrast with other AOKs; consider how the Ways of Knowing operate in historical studies; etc.

  3. Do you think we’ve handles it the exact same way as other pandemics? I think we have way better technology to combat the virus. I agree that somethings are the same like mass burials or makeshift hospitals, but some of those we can’t avoid because we aren’t ever really ready for a mass outbreak that overwhelms the health care system.

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