[Source: The Doghouse Diaries]
"remembering the past" is not necessarily co-equal with "history" (as a formal discipline, which is what he's referring to). But it does seem somewhat contradictory. Makes me wonder what happened in his life in between those two statements.
Perhaps the contradiction is simply a fact of reality. That we will never be able to remember the past, as it is shrouded in the 'pack of lies' that is history. Therefore, whether we like it or not, we are, in fact, condemned to repeat the past.
History is the official record of what happened in the past. It is not the actual past.
Furthermore, whoever sets down the official historical record has a vested interest in lying about it; if you have the wealth, power, and/or social clout in the first place to have large numbers of people believe and respect your historical accounts, then you have power over others and a reason to protect it.
Furthermore *yet*, if you must rely upon history to know the past at all, by definition you don't remember it yourself (as you likely were not around to experience it). As you don't remember it, it probably holds no special emotional pull for you. Therefore you will not take precautions to make sure that the bad parts of the past are not repeated.
Santayana's statements are not contradictory.
"In its amplest meaning History includes every trace and vestige of everything that man has done or thought since first he appeared on the earth" (James Harvey Robinson).
Using your own interpretation of the term History doesn't discredit someone else's interpretation. That's an irresponsible approach to discussion.
The real issue here is that the first quote doesn't mean what people think it does at all. The quote is part of a theory about how we acquire knowledge. For instance, babies are destined to repeat their mistakes before they develop the cognitive ability to understand and apply their past to their present.
Source: I've actually read The Reason of Common Sense, the book the quote is from, rather than trying to argue that my interpretation is better than the comic so I can get some thumbs up.
WOW “those who cannot remeber the past blablabla” such a deep thought to explain that babies can’t remember stuff that’s why they do stupid sh*t!
It's not supposed to be a deep thought. People take the phrase out of context and GIVE IT a deep meaning. He was summing up his thoughts into a concise statement, like most writers do.
::watches the nerds argue:: :P