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How Much Do We Really Know?

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Mughal e Azam View Drop Down
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  Quote Mughal e Azam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How Much Do We Really Know?
    Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 01:41
I was wondering, when we discuss History and take our opinions for granted, how correct are we?
 
For example, the European tradition of Alexander is that he destroyed the Persian Empire - and thats all.
 
The Persian-Muslim tradition of Alexander is that he took over the known world. Scholars like Al-Tabari as well as the author of SikanderNama claim Alexander to be Dhul Qurnayn (He of the Two Horns).
 
Understanding how scholars discuss History with one another, and realizing th fact that what once was "written in stone" is now revised or questioned, my question is how much do we really know about what we talk about?
 
For example, the Indians have two epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata that describe India in between 15,000 BC to 2,000 BC. Basically the wars between the city states and discussions of tribes in and around the Indian Peninsula.
 
Most scholars disregard this book, until some of them found indications in the IVC and in and around archeological sites corresponding to the Hindu Epics. Ofcourse the epics are written from a view point as religious poetry, however the basic premise may not altogether be untrue.
 
Indians were known for Hero worship as many other ancient societies were. For example, Rama may be an actual King of a city-state that united the Indian Peninsula. Horus, the Egyptian God was actually a leader of a group of tribes who settled in Lower Egypt.
 
Another example is the City of Troy. Disregarded because of human error, until this past century.
 
So have your say. For me, i realize that some of the knowledge we take for granted as written in stone may not be so.


Edited by Mughaal - 16-Dec-2007 at 01:42
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 01:50
This really trots into Epistemology and isn't really historiography - I would say that a historical "fact" is a justified - by archeology, written sources and other pieces of evidence/methodology - belief, just as the general definition of knowledge is. I would recommend reading some books on Epistemology for answer this question. I think that the reason that we consider certain historical facts to be "written in stone" is that for all intents and purposes, there more or less are. They have been proven enough times that there isn't really any more reason to doubt them anymore.
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  Quote Mughal e Azam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 03:06
Then how come Troy was considered just a story until they found the city in Turkey?
 
Whats epistemology?
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 03:30
It should be obvious that it was due to lack of archaeological evidence.
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  Quote Ponce de Leon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 05:12
how many times do i have to say this? We should learn that we actually know nothing about anything!
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 05:36
Remember Isaac Newton's quotation:
 
I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Isaac Newton, From Brewster, Memoirs of Newton (1855)
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  Quote pekau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2007 at 23:15
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
- Socrates
     
   
Join us.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2007 at 00:13
Epistemology is one of the main constituent parts of Philosophy and one of the main parts that people often steretypically associate with it. It's bascially the study of knowledge - what it is, how it is gained, the problem of knowledge, defenses against the sceptic, that kind of thing.
 
Then how come Troy was considered just a story until they found the city in Turkey?
 
People have always considered there to have been some kind of conflict between an archaic Greek culture and some kind of Eastern culture (I refrain from using words such as Myceaean and Hattian or Hurrian because these words don't reflect the age that I'm trying to show for how long people have been wondering about Troy). In fact, even before the 19th century, there were apparently maps showing possible sites for where Troy could have been - around 18 possible sites around the Black sea and the Aegean. There isn't that much literature about a conflict and that much cultural influence without there being some kind of truth buried deep, deep within it.
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  Quote Illirac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2007 at 15:18
Originally posted by Mughaal

I was wondering, when we discuss History and take our opinions for granted, how correct are we?



I do not know how correct can we be, depends on many things:
- for example I heard foolish Croatian claims that Marco Polo was Croat(I've done some research, and I've discovered that there was another Polo familiy on Korcula, and even if he was born on Korcula, the true Marco Polo, he was not Croat but venetian becouse that was venetian territory, and many Venetians lived there.), and how can an "ignorant" student know the truth, if this is teched in schools-and written in books? So probably those one will claim that he was a Croat, Italians will claim that was Italian, but in truth he was venetian...
 



Edited by Illirac - 17-Dec-2007 at 19:08
For too long I've been parched of thirst and unable to quench it.
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  Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2007 at 04:39
most of what is called Recorded Facts are actually based on some drawings or books specially when talking about Facts from Ancient times, from these sources many people base their opinion as its a solid fact and the truth is we cant be 100% sure of whats written there  if it really took place or was just a fantasy of whom written it or left it.
 
Modern recent facts had some errors in them and many people do make theories about things just happened in the last century, and we are in the times of recording everything and having living witnesses, still there are many parts of history will never be known,   thats now how about Ancient times?!
 
sometimes we dont even know that a whole civilization, Kingdom or any group of people existed until a small mentioning of them on a stone or something.
 
nice topic Mughaal Clap
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  Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2014 at 05:15
Originally posted by Ponce de Leon

how many times do i have to say this? We should learn that we actually know nothing about anything!
I think the correct answer to the question, "How Much do we Know", is "I don't know"!
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