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What Can We Learn from the Past: Essay

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This quote is taken from the philosophical book Reason in Common Sense, which was written and published by George Santayana in 1905.

Santayana becomes acknowledged for his aphorisms, and for becoming a professor in philosophy at Harvard which he deserted. Before, Santayana attended the Boston Latin School and Harvard College, in which he studied from the philosophers William James and Josiah. George Santayana’s quote that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it means studying history is necessary to avoid past mistakes because we learn from our past/mistakes. Repeating what happened in the past is either our result of learning or not learning from it, depending on the circumstances. In most cases, we are talking about mistakes that are repeated because people don’t learn from their previous mistakes. We can say when it comes to surroundings; minor words can have a big difference in meaning. If you are unable to learn from history does not mean you can actually “remember the past”. Learning from the past, especially we can say that written history is easier than remembering any past that hasn’t been saved as written oral history. Learning from the past seems to be a cause for nations and remembering the past seems to be for people. He basically argues that, if our world is ever going to make development, it desires to recollect what it’s found out from the beyond. After all, alternate isn’t the identical component as progress. Progress means taking what you have found out and constructing on it however cutting-edge subculture has a way of forgetting things so quickly that there may be no threat to us learning essential instructions from the past.

In the life of reasons, George Santayana wrote that who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In Santayana’s naturalistic approach point of view, he sees knowledge and beliefs not arising from reasoning but it comes through interaction between our minds and our observable environment. What we observe and learn. The meaning of an original quote and a misquote is probably the same. Santayana’s quote is sometimes misquoted as we do our best to remember our past atrocities. But Santayana’s point of view is about making progress. For our progress we should not only know our past experiences but also learn from them; to do things in different ways things. Through experiences and learning, we stop doing the same mistakes again and again in our life.

The American Revolution is a great example of this quote. The British experience during the American Revolution and the American experience during Vietnam. They both have striking similarities between the two events strategically and tactically, just in Vietnam example, they were British. They did not remember the lessons of the past in terms of empires trying to control distant colonies with strong desires for independence, and history intimately repeated itself.

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We can say that progress is only possible to look at there is AT&T building in New York they used old patterns and strategies of architecture to build this building in new ways. Through the use of past patterns and understanding, they formed AT&T building using the old patterns in a creative way. We can say that history repeats itself.

Studying history is important it helps us to understand our past, which helps us to understand our current. If we want to know about our world, we must check history for answers. People usually say history repeats itself, but if we study our past, we must avoid mistakes.

Everyone knows about Titanic. It’s a story from more than a hundred years old. Replicas have been built, museum galleries have been displayed. On April 15, 1912; the Titanic sank after crashing into an iceberg. The fact was that there were not enough lifeboats, firstly the ship split into two parts and then sank into the ocean some survivors were rescued by the RMS Carpathia and more than 1500 people lost their lives. Ninety years Titanic went down in the Atlantic Ocean; there was the sinking of the Tek Sing in the sea of South China. The Tek Sing was going from China to Jakarta and loaded with precious products, and also carrying 1600 strangers. Because the ship was overloaded the people were sleeping on the deck. On Feb 6 the ship crashed into a small barrier reef, resulting in people losing their life. Through occasionally referred to as Titanic, the story of the Tek Sing is failed to notice. Both Titanic and Tek Sing events are the same. In the case of Titanic, the ship was going faster. For the Tek Sing, Captain decided to take a shortcut. But the demise of both ships also occurred the same way- crashing into something. The iceberg hit to Titanic, while the Tek Sing hits the reef barrier. Both of the crashes were avoided if they were not doing the same thing rushing to their destination.

The History of United States. UN is a country that is founded on freedom, yet they created themselves by trimming the freedom of an entire group of people who were already living there. When Columbus arrived and see, he sent out search parties (he detailed this in his letter back to Spain) to see if he could find a king or kingdoms. He saw nothing but small villages and many people, but he describes them as being nothing. They were from the start almost, regarded as savages (this is the main example of cultural arrogance) and enslaved. The same process repeated once again with the slavery of African Americans. During WWII they were horrified by Hitler and the way he treated the Jews who were living there. However, they were doing something to the black citizens on our own soil. Perhaps they were not sending them to their deaths, but they were isolating them by keeping them in poverty in a similar fashion to the way in which they isolated the Native Americas on their reservations. They continue to repeat this process through wage-based slavery of the lower classes in our society today.


After writing this whole report my conclusion is that this is true in history and in our daily lives, to some extent. The idea is that if we forget the mistakes we make, we do them again. Unfortunately, we do repeat the same mistake over and over again. History is a recital of the same disasters. We make the same mistakes in our daily lives. According to Santayana if we remember our past experiences and learn from them we can prevent ourselves from repeating the same mistakes.

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What Can We Learn from the Past: Essay. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 29, 2023, from
“What Can We Learn from the Past: Essay.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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What Can We Learn from the Past: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Mar 01 [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from:
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