How history gets things wrong [electronic resource] : the neuroscience of our addiction to stories / Alex Rosenberg.
- Cambridge : The MIT Press, 2018.
- MIT Press
1 online resource (288 pages)
- Why we learn the wrong things from narrative history, and how our love for stories is hard-wired. To understand something, you need to know its history. Right? Wrong, says Alex Rosenberg in How History Gets Things Wrong . Feeling especially well-informed after reading a book of popular history on the best-seller list? Don't. Narrative history is always, always wrong. It not just incomplete or inaccurate but deeply wrong, as wrong as Ptolemaic astronomy. We no longer believe that the earth is the center of the universe. Why do we still believe in historical narrative? Our attachment to history as a vehicle for understanding has a long Darwinian pedigree and a genetic basis. Our love of stories is hard-wired. Neuroscience reveals that human evolution shaped a tool useful for survival into a defective theory of human nature. Stories historians tell, Rosenberg continues, are not only wrong but harmful.
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