Beyond modernist and postmodernist history

We need a cognitive history of humanity

How we understand the past goes on to shape our future.  Both modernist and postmodernist accounts of history are inadequate and reductive accounts of how the world arrived at its present state. Modernism defends a naïve account of progress as driven by reason and science, and while postmodernism rejects that simplistic story, it falls prey to its own version of cultural imperialism. What we need then is a cognitive history of humanity, one that explains how different cultures, operating under different conceptual frames, saw the world differently, leading them to chart different paths. Only then we’ll begin to recognize our own culture’s conceptual framework, its limits, and the ways it needs revising, argues Jeremy Lent.


The way we interpret history has profound implications for how we understand the present and, most importantly, how we determine the priorities that will decide our future. Modernist interpretations of history, along with more recent

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krishna menon 1 February 2022

Apart from this cognitive history of humanity, we also need a truly universal history of humanity. The basic meaning of humanity to me shuld come from humous or humility. so the history of all the colonised soils, must now nbe part of the universal set of history.

Roger Kapp 31 January 2022

Thank you for the very interesting topic, and your very interesting books.

You mention Cognitive History, but don’t really define it.

Could you please suggest some food for thought on that topic ?

TIA and best regards,