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Issue 6.1

History’s Modus Operandi

A little history about histories. It isn’t until the eighteen-century German philosopher Georg W. F. Hegel that we move beyond the idea of history as an eyewitness account—that doesn’t seem long when put into context. It took us a little over a thousand years to move from the eyewitness reports on the Peloponnesian Wars by Thucydides that establish the idea of history as memory and narrative to the Hegelian conception of history as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis representing the slow cycle of continuity and reciprocity toward the realization of human freedom.1 Since Hegel, history is a science of multiple histories: technological, political, social, cultural, and yes, architectural. Architecture has a long past, but a shorter history than most.

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