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OLLI Membership, Class Registration, and Activities > > Religion & Philosophy

In Search of the Laws of History   

From Sima Qian’s “Dynastic Cycles” in the 2nd Century BCE to Karl Marx’s “Dialectical Materialism” and Arnold Toynbee’s “Challenge and Response” many scholars have made a name for themselves by seeking to reduce human history to tidy, easy-to-understand patterns or “Laws.” These efforts are inevitably imperfect; but by drawing attention to key aspects of history, they have contributed greatly to our understanding of both the past and our own time. This course will examine a selection of these influential, if imperfect, ideas – as well as the fascinating individuals who produced and advocated for them.

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