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January 7, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

What is the value of studying history in college?

This is an answer to a question on Quora:

I would echo much or rather pretty much all that Daniel Mokrauer-Madden said. I would suggest there are a couple other potential ways in which history can help provide insights and inspiration:

1. Communication, Persuasion & Strategy from the history of presidential elections & movements.
2. Inspiration from entrepreneurs, leaders, and explorers.
3. Decision-making and leadership from historical biographies.
4. Perspective taking and role playing in understanding how people of an era. Although, I think its far easier to think how an individual might have thought–than a whole peoples or group.
5. Flow of history & the history of ideas (ie the Hegelian dialectic). Also, the power of ideas.
6. Gratitude for the courage our forefathers. Humility a bit too. Many of my challenges are small compared to previous generations who dealt with war on a larger scale.
7. Pattern identification
8. Philosophy and cross-worldview discussions

* I’m curious how the role of explicit contrast between two historical characters might even yield better decision-making skills.

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