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- View topic - Cliodynamics: History as Science
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Cliodynamics: History as Science 
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 2:10 pm
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Post Cliodynamics: History as Science
I thought this might be of interest to the Forum. It strikes me as very "Heinleinian." He probably would have liked the part about "verbal theories should be translated into mathematical models, precise predictions derived, and then rigorously tested on empirical material."


Empires rise and fall, populations and economies boom and bust, world religions spread or wither... What are the mechanisms underlying such dynamical processes in history? Are there 'laws of history'? We do not lack hypotheses to investigate - to take just one instance, more than two hundred explanations have been proposed for why the Roman Empire fell. But we still don't know which of these hypotheses are plausible, and which should be rejected. More importantly, there is no consensus on what general mechanisms explain the collapse of historical empires. What is needed is a systematic application of the scientific method to history: verbal theories should be translated into mathematical models, precise predictions derived, and then rigorously tested on empirical material. In short, history needs to become an analytical, predictive science (see Arise cliodynamics).

Cliodynamics (from Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of temporally varying processes) is the new transdisciplinary area of research at the intersection of historical macrosociology, economic history/cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. Mathematical approaches – modeling historical processes with differential equations or agent-based simulations; sophisticated statistical approaches to data analysis – are a key ingredient in the cliodynamic research program (Why do we need mathematical history?). But ultimately the aim is to discover general principles that explain the functioning and dynamics of actual historical societies.

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Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Cliodynamics: History as Science
Interesting. Is their entire sit on the home page? :-)

It fairly screams psychohistory, more I think than Future History. Determinism in human behavior strikes me as something that would not have been popular with Heinlein.


Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:12 am
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Post Re: Cliodynamics: History as Science

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Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:54 am
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Post Re: Cliodynamics: History as Science


Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Cliodynamics: History as Science


Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:47 pm
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