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The Origin and Goal of History
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't see, however, that this work "makes mincemeat of Darwinian thinking" as is asserted by a previous reviewer. Rather, the concept that there could be parallel evolutionary developments re-evolving similar responses to similar situations is quite in accord with evolutionary thinking. There are numerous examples of such parallel developments in biological evolution (see Simon Conway-Morris' "Life's Solution"). No one to my knowledge is trying to suppress the simultaneous domestication of grains in (as I recall) seven locales around the planet (see Jared Diamond's "Guns Germs and Steel" for example).
Further, the assertion that the axial developments were completely independent (which was Jaspers' view as well as that of the previous reviewer) is on somewhat shaky ground owing to the work of Thomas McEvilley "The Shape of Ancient Thought", for example, who traces the continuous interplay of peoples along the axis thereby providing excellent opportunities for cross-fertilization of spiritual and philosophic ideas.
There is no disputing several centuries of Euro-centric views of history and Jaspers was one of the few in his era to thoughtfully step outside that box - and there are still only a few who have (Burkert and Hobson come to mind).
I do agree with the previous reviewer that this work is certainly worth being reissued or made available via books-on-demand.
This book, "The Origin & Goal of History" I found a hard back copy at a Roman Catholic monastery, I checked it out & took it home for a few weeks. What a mind opening delight. This time Karl Jaspers turns his eyes to the past & develops a complete thesis of historical theory: Humanity's origin as ONE giving birth to 4 river civilizations that fragments into many cultures unto the AXIAL AGE from 800 to 200 BC were philosophical & religious thought blossoms & spreads to enlighten mankind through out the world. Then the later raise of vast empires unto the modern age with its 2 World Wars until globalization forces mankind to rethink & rejoin as a whole.
When I wrote this review there were 3 books at around $65.00, someone was tempted!
Whatever fashions itself out of Asia
and must sink back into Asia is transitory (p. 70).
Jaspers wanted superiority to:
the brutal force of the desire to dominate --
delight in violence, in cruelty --
the empty will to prestige --
the desire for wealth and pleasure --
the erotic instincts, which force themselves
to the front wherever they are given
the opportunity (pp. 220-221).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In a letter to Alexandre Kojeve, dated 4.9.49, Leo Strauss has commented on the "Jaspers' History": "[A] well-intentioned North-German Protestant Pastor, full of... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Said Tavakoli Parsan
I am very pleased with the book. It covers maternal that is helpful in understanding man's beginnings and how history has gotten us to where we now are.Published 17 months ago by Roger P.