A Problem with Some Philosophies of History

How Change Happens: A Theory of Philosophy of History, Social Change and Cultural Evolution, (2009), Best Publications Limited

13 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2016 Last revised: 22 Nov 2016

Date Written: October 30, 2016

Abstract

Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Leslie White, Allen Johnson and Timothy Earle, and Stephen Sanderson all produced linear theories of history, social change and cultural evolution but their theories have a common deficiency. None of them provide an ultimate explanation for social cultural and historical change. This failure was rectified by J. S. Mill who suggested increasing human knowledge was the ultimate cause of social, cultural and historical change. However even Mill did not ask what caused the increasing human knowledge and why the knowledge had to be acquired in a particular order and how this could affect human history.

Keywords: Karl Marx, Leslie White, Emile Durkheim, John Stuart Mill, modes of production, philosophy of history, social change, cultural evolution, Stephen Sanderson, Evolutionary Materialism, Allen Johnson, Timothy Earle, Marxism

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Forrester, Rochelle, A Problem with Some Philosophies of History (October 30, 2016). How Change Happens: A Theory of Philosophy of History, Social Change and Cultural Evolution, (2009), Best Publications Limited, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2862215 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2862215

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