31 October 2012

Huxley on the promise of neurohistory

A passage from T. H. Huxley's Evolution and Ethics worthy of contemplation by our putative neurohistorians:

There can be no doubt that vast changes have taken place in English civilization since the reign of the Tudors. But I am not aware of a particle of evidence in favour of the conclusion that this evolutionary process has been accompanied by any modification of the physicial, or the mental, characters of the men who have been the subjects of it. I have not met with any grounds for suspecting that the average Englishman of to-day are sensibly different from those that Shakspere [sic] knew and drew. We look into his magic mirror of the Elizabethan age, and behold, nowise darkly, the presentiment of ourselves.

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