History of Writing and Record Keeping

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

4 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2016 Last revised: 22 Nov 2016

Date Written: October 31, 2016


The ultimate cause of much historical, social and cultural change is the gradual accumulation of human knowledge of the environment. Human beings use the materials in their environment to meet their needs and increased human knowledge of the environment enables human needs to be met in a more efficient manner. The human environment includes the human being itself and the human ability to communicate by means of language and to make symbolic representations of the sounds produced by language, allowed the development of writing. Writing developed over time in a necessary and inevitable manner from logographic, to syllabic, to alphabetical systems. This development from simpler word based writing to more complex syllable based systems and then even more complex sound based writing systems was a logical progression from, simple less useful systems, to more complex, but more useful systems. This is an example of how the simplest knowledge is acquired first and more complex knowledge is acquired later. The order of discovery determines the course of human social and cultural history as knowledge of new and more efficient means of meeting human needs, results in new technology, which results in the development of new social and ideological systems. This means human social and cultural history, has to follow a particular course, a course that is determined by the structure of the human environment.

Keywords: History of Writing, Writing, Logographic Writing, Syllabic Writing, Alphabet, Rebus Principle, Gelb Dictum, Cuneiform, Hieroglyphics, Linear a, Linear B, Quiqu, Teleological

JEL Classification: A00

Suggested Citation

Forrester, Rochelle, History of Writing and Record Keeping (October 31, 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=2862739 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2862739

Rochelle Forrester (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

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