I haven’t been following this thread too closely, but when ‘peasants’ are
discussed, I think of the feudal system, which would never have existed without
the Roman empire.
I don’t know what Popper would say, but there’s something Griceian about Gibbon
– or Gibbonian about Grice.
Philosophers of history – such as Danto – say that yes, there is the
possibility of ‘historical explanation,’ but that this is often best understood
in terms of the historical agent’s INTENTIONS (and actions, of course).
Gibbon’s classic (if not Spengler) is often mentioned in this regard.
Gibbon’s intention seems to have been to entertain those who took the Grand
Tour – and it is interesting that he wrote about the ‘decline and fall’ rather
than a topic that interests me more, the “BIRTH,” since, well, Rome was a
_republic_ before it was an _empire_ and I was always moved by Cato’s suicide!
But I disgress.
(And does Spengler quote from Gibbon?)
KEYWORDS: Philosophy of History, Roman History, Explanation in History, Popper,
Grice, Cato, Gibbon, Spengler, peasant.
Danto, A. Philosophy of History.
Grice, H. P. Actions and Events -- Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. His
analysis of the Roman who fell on his sword.