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contingency in history

English translation: (theory that) history is determined by a systematic series of cause & effect

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:contingency in history
English translation:(theory that) history is determined by a systematic series of cause & effect
Entered by: Bryan Crumpler
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17:32 Oct 17, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Science - Geology
English term or phrase: contingency in history
Opabinia and company constituted the strange and wonderful life of a remote past; they have also imposed the great theme of contingency in history upon a science uncomfortable with such concepts.
Laura
theory that history is determined by a systematic series cause & effect
Explanation:
"Historical explanations take the form of the narrative: E, the phenomenon to be explained, arose because D came before, preceded by C, B, and A. If any of these earlier stages had not occurred, or had transpired in a different way, then E would not exist (or would be present in a substantially altered form, E', requiring a different explanation)....[This is not per se] randomness (for E had to arise, as a consequence of A through D), but of the central principle of all history--contingency." Furthermore,...the universal psychological appeal of the notion of historical contingency, in terms that leave no doubt that this is not a concept specific to evolutionary biology: "Historical explanations are endlessly fascinating in themselves, in many ways more intriguing to the human psyche than the inexorable consequences of nature's laws....Contingency is the affirmation of control by immediate events over destiny....Contingency is a license to participate in history, and our psyche responds. The theme of contingency, so poorly understood and explored by science, has long been a mainstay of literature...." --Paul A. David

So in comparison, the scientists "Opabinia and company" have indeed taken on the theory that history is determined by a systematic series of cause & effect, which has been a topic of debate in the scientific community. That would thus explain the line "...a science uncomfortable with such concepts"
Selected response from:

Bryan Crumpler
United States
Local time: 22:40
Grading comment
thank you
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5Not an answer, just a few comments.Sue Goldian
5Well, since it looks like that
Elisabeth Ghysels
5theory that history is determined by a systematic series cause & effect
Bryan Crumpler
5The position that history is not minutely determined by inexorable lawsFuad Yahya
4 +1no logical necessityJohn Kinory
3the uncertain paths that history traversed.
#41698 (LSF)
4 -1DiscussionKenji Otomo


  

Answers


16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
Discussion


Explanation:
It is a synonimous of discussion or argument. It is very spoken in latin languages.

Hope it helps.


Kenji Otomo
Spain
Local time: 04:40

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  John Kinory: Why are you answering English (monolingual) questions?
1 min
  -> Because I want. If you don't like......

disagree  Sue Goldian: Contingency has nothing to do with discussion or argument. And John is quite right. Your answer makes it clear that you should not be answering English monolingual questions.
14 mins

neutral  Bryan Crumpler: true Miss Goldian... however "contingency in history" DOES! only I presume the asker wants to know what the discussion is actually about
1 hr

neutral  Fuad Yahya: Although it is appropriate to disagree with the content of the answer, it is not appropriate to make negative remarks about the answerer's competency or to make the answerer feel unwelcome in this pair.
1 hr
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the uncertain paths that history traversed.


Explanation:
Just a suggestion. Contingency normally deals with uncertainties, of preparing for emergencies, or the 'what if' situations.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 19:03:04 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Contrast: Science is precise.

#41698 (LSF)
Malaysia
Local time: 10:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
no logical necessity


Explanation:
A contingent event is one that depends on certain conditions being met, conditions that are not logically and necessarily in place.

HTH a little.

John Kinory
Local time: 03:40

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sue Goldian: Very nice :-)
6 mins
  -> Thanks!
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46 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
The position that history is not minutely determined by inexorable laws


Explanation:
Philosphers of history have always had this debate: Is history the inexorable unfolding of fixed laws, and therefore essentially predictable, given full knowledge of data, or are there elements in history (such as intentionality) that make such predictability essentially impossible?

Take a look at this page:

http://www.hollmij.nl/Wet-Kornet.htm


Fuad


    Reference: http://www.hollmij.nl/Wet-Kornet.htm
Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
theory that history is determined by a systematic series cause & effect


Explanation:
"Historical explanations take the form of the narrative: E, the phenomenon to be explained, arose because D came before, preceded by C, B, and A. If any of these earlier stages had not occurred, or had transpired in a different way, then E would not exist (or would be present in a substantially altered form, E', requiring a different explanation)....[This is not per se] randomness (for E had to arise, as a consequence of A through D), but of the central principle of all history--contingency." Furthermore,...the universal psychological appeal of the notion of historical contingency, in terms that leave no doubt that this is not a concept specific to evolutionary biology: "Historical explanations are endlessly fascinating in themselves, in many ways more intriguing to the human psyche than the inexorable consequences of nature's laws....Contingency is the affirmation of control by immediate events over destiny....Contingency is a license to participate in history, and our psyche responds. The theme of contingency, so poorly understood and explored by science, has long been a mainstay of literature...." --Paul A. David

So in comparison, the scientists "Opabinia and company" have indeed taken on the theory that history is determined by a systematic series of cause & effect, which has been a topic of debate in the scientific community. That would thus explain the line "...a science uncomfortable with such concepts"


    Reference: http://eh.net/Clio/Publications/pathdepend.html
    Reference: http://www.eh.net/Clio/Publications/pathnotes.html
Bryan Crumpler
United States
Local time: 22:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
thank you
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Not an answer, just a few comments.


Explanation:
My apologies to Laura for posting a non-answer to her question, but I really feel that I have to respond to some of the remarks that were directed at me.

Here goes -

Crumpler - while I admit I find it rather refreshing to be addressed as Miss Goldian, after 15 years of marriage to Mr. Goldian plus three daughters, you might want to consider the use of Ms next time you address a woman. Just a suggestion, of course.

My next comment is for Fuad - Hmmmm...I don't quite know where to start...OK, first of all, English monolingual is not a language pair, as I'm sure you know. And the answerer's answer was 100% wrong and his explanation, short though it was, made it abundantly clear that his/her English, with all due respect, is, if I am permitted to say this on Proz, not really adequate for answering English monolingual questions. Furthermore, I believe it is quite appropriate to make negative remarks about the answerer's competency when his/her answer is so totally inappropriate. WADR, your comment that about making the answerer feel unwelcome in this language "pair" is ridiculous, since the answerer does not belong in this language "pair" in the first place. I stick to my own language pair - English <> Hebrew, and I don't answer questions in Arabic, Spanish, Japanese or any other language that I have no knowledge of.

And if I'm not mistaken, it is quite inappropriate to use the comment option in order to criticise an answerer's comments. There are other, and possibly more appropriate, ways to express your views about Prozetiquette. One that comes to mind is sending critical remarks offlist, or even refraining from making them in the first place.

Sue Goldian
Local time: 05:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Bryan Crumpler: quite hypocritical IMHO, Ms Goldian, to be telling those of use who disagree with your tact regarding this matter to "[send] critical remarks offlist, or even [refrain] from making them in the first place." What a joke
6 hrs
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3 days23 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Well, since it looks like that


Explanation:
this discussion has, together probably with similar problems or worse, let to quite unwelcome consequences, and since I have quite a strong opinion on matters like these, I'll add my 2 cents:
it's not a matter of appropriateness, whether derogatory comments like the ones on the first answer are given, it's only a matter of personal style. And while I myself am strongly in favor of a style, where nobody needs to feel really bad (that's the one part of my message), I think that hunting down anybody just because he cultivates the classical "homo homini lupus" - style (which, after all, is common around here, just as elsewhere) is not appropriate indeed (that's the other part of my message).
Greetings,

Nikolaus

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Note added at 2002-10-21 17:49:46 (GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

or just to put it in another way:
we have no legal entitlement to all around here being softies, even if it would be nice.

Elisabeth Ghysels
Local time: 04:40
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Changes made by editors
Feb 9, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO
Feb 9, 2006 - Changes made by Fuad Yahya:
Field (write-in)Geology » (none)


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