Note we have changed our site logo to ‘end(s) of history’…we will keep changing it every few months, perhaps…
The term ‘end of history’ is a bit of a hack, as is our ‘ends of history’, and has never really arrived at a stable form. We scrambled the term by putting it a plural form, mostly to examine the idea in a different way: look at the Axial Age, history can multitask, as the ‘ends’ of history, so we have an additional mystery to examine. But modernity seems to close the parallel tracks returning world history to a single complex, modernity, so to speak. The Wikipedia entry isn’t too informative and the section of postmodernism is incorrect: we have not reached the end of modernity at all.
We have put such questions in the context of the the eonic effect which suggests the modern epoch is part of the eonic sequence with intervals around 2400 years, a stubborn mystery, and that the modern transition from 1500 to 1800 initiates this new era which will last until well past 4000 AD! Future speculation about this so-called ‘eonic model’ is NOT good idea, but we can make the mistake of doing this in order to to find a better understanding! This model of history has a unique innovation in distinguishing system action and free action, the period of transition being the phase of system action followed by free action. So there is every possibility that we can take charge of our own history and even exit this sequence about which we have too little data to complete a full theory. Every possibility, but also a high probability of failure…Modernity has the feeling of being the end of that sequence so this epoch would as free action have the option of moving out of the eonic sequence into a new kind of history. But don’t bet on it. If you examine the innovations of the modern transition they are so fundamental we will remain in their universe of discourse for a long time and we can see how little we control: if all the innovations of the early modern are ‘system action’ we are deep trouble! Note that the Greeks (or Sumerians) created ‘science’ and yet despite valiant efforts in the Islamic world science almost died out in the medieval period, and was reignited in the modern transition. Can we control the future now on this point??! We should hope so, but seem to have moved to the other extreme, science, science…scientism, aye, there’s the rub. Consider the era of early Greece in the period 900 to 600 BCE and then medieval period, one gets an alarming sense of the difference between system action and free action. Note the resemblance to the ‘end of history’ discourse. We have half a dozen or more new possible definitions of the ‘end of history’ including our multitasking phase of proximate antiquity as the ends of history, brain scrambling perhaps. Modernity appears to integrate the diverging tracks of the Axial Age but then again maybe not. Once we become aware of the eonic effect its action will start to wane, or so it would seem.
As we can see most of world history is a series of gifts from a mysterious source. We have adapted the term ‘evolution’ for this, but it is closer to a ‘fine tuning’ line of thinking. In this view we are completing the ‘descent of man’ who is an organismic given it seems but still a cultural evolver/evolvee. A slot for an ‘end(s) of history’ definition/discourse lurks in this discussion!
Keep in mind that innovations are one thing, but generating the process of innovation is quite another. Can we create the net equivalent of the eonic sequence? Not yet, not by a long shot. Consider the enigmatic difficulties: can science generate art movements demand? And so for everything else, science, philosophy, politics, art, religion, etc…
Our model carefully distinguishes ‘eonic sequence’, technosequence (the history of technology) and econosequence, history of economies (later changed to technostream, econostream). Note that ‘technology’ has become self-sustaining, an important achievement. But technology is child’s play. Mastering the economic systems a little harder!. The eonic sequence is, so far, unfathomable. (I have tried for sixteen years to explain it, but so far not much luck!)
Thus we can’t say the same for science, as such, as far as we know, but science may be close to generating a self-sustaining process. But man still has no science of evolution and seems unaware of the lack. Still to this day scientists are confused about evolution. And therefore still confused about everything else. Man has discovered physics as a science, and its family relatives up through, say, biochemistry, but not higher yet. No real theory of evolution. The eonic effect at least shows what is missing, what a real theory might be like.
After the era of the early Greek transition occidental man lost almost everything and ended up in a medieval period for centuries. Nothing picked up until the era of transition to a new epoch. Let us hope man has learned enough to escape this fate happening again.
Note that we have often talked about J.G.Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe with its triple distinction of hyponomic, autonomic, hypernomic….Science is proceeding through the hyponomic in the study of physics, say, with the hypernomic formerly confused with the spiritual realm. Man is almost blind to the hypernomic. Bennett’s system is useful in a scratchpad way: all these realms are part of one ‘material’ sweep (mindful of his distinctions of ‘being, function, will’: the material is related to the function aspect…)
The point here it would seem that no theory of evolution is so far possible because ‘evolution’ has elements of the hypernomic about which man has so far very little knowledge.
The phrase, ‘the end of history’ was first used by French philosopher and mathematician Antoine Augustin Cournot in 1861 “to refer to the end of the historical dynamic with the perfection of civil society”. “Arnold Gehlen adopted it in 1952 and it has been taken up more recently by Heidegger and Vattimo”.The formal development of an idea of an “end of history” is most closely associated with Hegel, although Hegel discussed the idea in ambiguous terms, making it unclear whether he thought such a thing was a certainty or a mere possibility.In Postmodernism
A postmodern understanding of the term differs in that “The idea of an ‘end of history’ does not imply that nothing more will ever happen. Rather, what the postmodern sense of an end of history tends to signify is, in the words of contemporary historian Keith Jenkins, the idea that ‘the peculiar ways in which the past was historicized (was conceptualized in modernist, linear and essentially metanarrative forms) has now come to an end of its productive life; the all-encompassing “experiment of modernity” … is passing away into our postmodern condition’.”
Source: End of history – Wikipedia