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A Study of History and Evolution                                              
 

World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, and Theories of Evolution

By
John Landon 


The Third Edition of WH&EE has been extensively rewritten, with a host of new topics and material. The text provides a good way to study world history, and is really three subbooks in one, with three outlines of world history, built around 'an idea for an historical database', as a new method to organize research. Using a hybrid of systems theory and the philosophy of history, the text creates a new kind of historical model, in the process throwing light on the issues of the Darwin debate, evolution, and the descent of man. The principal issues dealt with are:

  • The discovery of the eonic effect, the evidence of non-random evolution in history. This also provides a detailed look at the question of the Axial Age, and a new way to interpret its significance. 

  • A critique of Darwin's theory of natural selection, with a critical review of the current confusion over Intelligent design. We can adopt a Kantian strategy to steer us through the metaphysics of evolution.  

  • Scientific methodology, the problems of reductionism, biology and ethics, and the hidden ideologies of evolutionary theory

  • Construction of an eonic model, using simple periodization, to formulate the idea of the Great Transition, and to clarify the relation of history and evolution. A look at the Great Explosion in the Paleolithic suggests a photo finish critique of Darwinism. 

  • The contradictions of Big History/Flat History involve the issues of historicism, historical inevitability, and the question of a Science of History, given the paradoxes of causality/freedom.

  • This leads to a connection with the classic philosophy of history seen in the works of Kant, and his thinking on the Third Antinomy provides the key to our new model's success.

  • This leads to a way to see the 'evolution of freedom' as a key construct for historical analysis, and we can use this to examine the 'discrete freedom sequence' seen in the enigmatic emergence of democracy in the eonic pattern. 

  • Armed with a new model, we proceed to three separate outlines of world history, with a close discussion of the rise of the modern, postmodernism, the Enlightenment, the Great Divide, the Scientific Revolution, theories of economics, globalization, Eurocentrism, ideologies of revolution, the Hegelian  End of History. 

  • A new approach to the fundamental unit of historical analysis allows us to approach world history at a deeper level than the 'civilization', and we can produce a unified treatment of the evolution of the State, religion, and general culture.

  • The eonic effect provides the key to unlocking the riddle of the Old Testament, which is a concealed discovery of the Axial Age context of the Biblical sagas. Beyond this the model gives us a way to reconsider the 'evolution of religion', especially the Buddhist, and monotheistic, religions. 

The result is an elegant solution to the problems and dilemmas of historical theory, the ideologies of evolution, and paradoxes of a science of history. 

  First Edition cited in  History and Theory, February 2001 

Booknotes:

Landon, John C., 1945-

               World history and the eonic effect : civilization,
            Darwinism, and theories of evolution / John C. Landon.
            -- 3rd ed.
               p. cm.
               Includes bibliographical references and index.
               LCCN 2008900827
               ISBN-13: 978-1-4363-1868-6 (pbk.)
               ISBN-10: 1-4363-1868-8 (pbk.)
               ISBN-13: 978-1-4363-1869-3 (hc)
               ISBN-10: 1-4363-1869-6 (hc)
               1. Social evolution.  2. History--Periodization. 
            3. Human evolution.  4. Evolution (Biology)--Religious
            aspects.  5. Civilization.    I. Title.
            HM626.L36 2008                     303.4'01
                                                                   QBI08-600074

 
     

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