- an intoduction
1st Year 05.12. 2012
By J. W. Kamenju. UON
1. a narrative (story) devoted to the exposition of the natural unfolding and interdependence of the events. 2. a systematic written account comprising a chronological record of events ... usually including a philosophical explanation of the cause and origin of such events. 3. finished or done for : one consigned or belonging to the past. – He is history
a controversial discussion or argument: an aggressive attack on or the refutation of the opinions or principles of another. E.g. Facing Mt Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta. True history though subjective tries to pass as objective fact by eschewing polemics
History or polemics?
“The Gikuyu have clear ideas as to the nature of diseases and the treatment required in various cases.” (Kenyatta, 1965:280)
“the Kikuyu native possesses nothing but a gross and ignorant empiricism, exploited as he is by sorcerers, wizards and diviners and quacks similar to those who practiced in Western Europe in olden days.” (Cagnolo, 1933:131)
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana (1863-1963)
"Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it"
History – Memory
a way of organizing the past e.g. ”Re-membering Africa” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
History - Understanding
Why is understanding important? Cant we just move on from one moment to the next? Cant we just create whatever buildings we fancy??
Man is distinguished from all other species in that he is sentient
– he thinks
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. - W. Shakespeare
Cogito ergo sum
I think, therefore I am.
- René Descartes
A human being on tasting the fruit of thought is no longer comfortable in the pit chained to ignorance. He begins the slow climb up and down the ladder of knowledge.