The Structure of Big History

From the Big Bang until Today

Fred Spier

The Structure of Big History
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Fred Spier

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

120 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9789053562208 Published June 1996 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
The social and natural sciences have more in common than most of us may suspect. This thought-provoking study presents a single straightforward structure which unites the latest scientific views on the history of the universe, the solar system, the planet, life and humankind. The focus on the formation, differentiation and transformation of configurations, regimes, and on the ever-changing reactions and interactions between them produces a simple, dynamic and reality-congruent structure with which to view the whole of history. It contributes to a better understanding of some long-standing academic controversies such as the root causes behind the origins of humankind, the rise of agriculture and the emergence of early states.
Contents
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I. GENERAL APPROACH
Introduction
Regimes as structuring elements for cosmic, planetary and human history
Human regimes
Inorganic regimes
II. HUMAN LIFE BETWEEN MICRO AND MACRO REGIMES
Introduction
Astronomical regimes
Organic and biological regimes
III. HUMAN CULTURAL REGIMES
Introduction
Human ecological regime transformations as the major structuring principle of human history
IV. THREE MAJOR ECOLOGICAL REGIME TRANSFORMATIONS AS STRUCTURING PRINCIPLE FOR HUMAN HISTORY
The first great ecological regime transformation: the domestication of fire
The gatherer-hunter social regime
Sedentary gatherers and hunters
The second great ecological regime transformation: the transition to an agrarian regime
The evolving agrarian social regime
Agrarian social regime differentiation and development
The third great ecological regime transformation: the transition toward an industrial regime
Social regime transformations
Planetary ecological regime development
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
NOTES
REFERENCES
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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