Peter Turchin: Why Empires Rise & Fall

The Nietzsche Podcast April 26, 2023 Link


Peter Turchin has continued the work of Ibn Khaldun, by elaborating upon Khaldun’s hypotheses and testing them against the wealth of historical data that we now possess. By means of a structural demographic analysis of historical empires, Turchin has worked for years to generate mathematical models in order to explain the trends that seem to recur in every complex society. Now, with the data of 10,000 years of human activity on the group level, it may be possible to finally move beyond the preliminary, pseudo-scientific steps of the discipline of history, and proceed into a truly mathematized phase. This is the discipline that Turchin calls “Cliodynamics”, after the Muse of history of Ancient Greece. His intention to leave behind the anthropological and archaeological studies that characterized history in the past, and bring mathematics into the field so that we can begin to make predictions.

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