Cliodynamics, a science of history?

Massimo Pigliucci rationallyspeaking August 4, 2008 Link


My colleague Peter Turchin over at the University of Connecticut (my Alma Mater) has recently published an intriguing short article in Nature (3 July 2008) on what he termed “cliodynamics,” the possibility of turning history into a science. The word comes from Clio, the muse of history for the Greek and Romans, with the “dynamics” part referring to the central concept proposed by Turchin, that history — contrary to what most historians might think — is not just one damn thing after another, that there are regular and predictable patterns, from which we can learn and that we can predict.

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