Deep history is a term for the distant past of the human species. Deep history encourages scholars and thinkers in anthropology, archaeology, primatology, genetics and linguistics on how to work together to write a common narrative about the beginnings of humans, and to redress what they see as an imbalance among historians, who mostly concentrate on more recent periods.
Deep history goes into prehistory, urging notions of the origins of language, consciousness and memory prior to verbal and familiar mental "thinking" functions.
Beyond just the term Deep History, Big History stretches out for academic reference, our story from the Big Bang to the present.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French philosopher and paleontologist who gave us the idea of the noosphere, “the sphere of human thought.” According to de Chardin, the noosphere is the product of the evolution of a global intelligence that climaxes to a planetary consciousness where human consciousness becomes part of an inter-connected wisdom that has no separate consciousness from sentient Earth biosphere.
de Chardin’s much more renowned student, Marshall McLuhan coined the term Global Village in order to describe the ways communications networks would link the world's many minds as if it was to become one extended planetary central nervous system. McLuhan and de Chardin foresaw the becoming Brain of the Earth long before the creation of the internet.
Deep History descends on many people’s personal stories now, compelling them to regard their narratives according to a much larger contextual map of “reality.”
To the hermeneuticist Hans-Georg Gadamer, "there can be no doubt that the great horizon of the past, out of which our culture and our present live, influences us in everything we want, hope for, or fear in the future. History is only present to us in light of our futurity."
Gadamer's conception of history regards the oblique relationship between the bygone and the forthcoming eras. Gadamer as is well known, conservatively pauses over our capacity to transcend our subjective prejudices that maintains our attachments to our human perceptions long-conditioned by cultural time.
The hermeneutic circularity in time problematises history to contain parts as the future synthesises the wholeness from the unknown. Yet, as we are the generation that stretches its wild imaginings to the furthest zones of archaic memory, we imagine the past to hold a priori status, a paradoxical remembering of our forgetting, if only to clear the space for the mergence of our pre-historical historical and post-futurist horizons. In the following video, the extraordinary French philosopher Catherine Malabou bears witness to million-year horizons upon which human pastness shifts greatly in far-reaching time scales we have never considered before.
Malabou gives a seminal introdction to the Anthropocene, a proposed geological epoch which brings Deep History to bear, by implicating the brain’s neuroplasticity in its accelerated transformations from which the innerdance conducts its movements. Malabou's talk especially decenters the role of humans paving for a new awareness of a post-anthropocentric epoch that comes upon us, as we gaze at the strange notion she calls The Brain of History.