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To many, studying history is an important pursuit, as understanding the past could hold important lessons for the future. But to others, this is pointless memorization of irrelevant names and dates. The debate persists: are those who don't learn from history doomed to repeat it?

History is important Show more Show less

History is important to understanding both our past and our present.
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"Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

"Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it," a variation on the famous quote by George Santayana, is often used as an argument in favor of studying history.
Education History
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The Argument

One of the most common arguments in favor of studying history, the famous quote by George Santayana, which states "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," means that people who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are going to make the same mistakes. The saying is true of both world history and of personal history. Countries commit terrible acts all the time, especially during times of war. For example, the Holocaust was a terrible crime against humanity which should never be repeated. When an individual makes a mistake and they do not learn from it, they usually end up making the same mistake multiple times, such as in relationships, in school, or in their job.[1] The same is true on a macro scale, with countries and their histories.

Counter arguments

Quoting the saying is pointless because, regardless of whether or not people learn from the past, the past seems to repeat itself anyway.[1]

Premises

[P1] World nations can avoid war by learning from the mistakes of the past which led to war previously. [P2] Individuals can learn from their mistakes and grow as a person.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] War keeps happening regardless. [Rejecting P2] Some people do not learn from their mistakes.

Proponents


References

  1. https://bigthink.com/the-proverbial-skeptic/those-who-do-not-learn-history-doomed-to-repeat-it-really

This page was last edited on Thursday, 3 Sep 2020 at 18:59 UTC

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