It’s difficult for me to respond to this big topic in a short reply, but I’ll try. I think it’s a mistake to think of Big History as coming from historians only—it includes contributions from many disciplines, notably from Eric Chaisson and Fred Spier in science. It has to be a creation across disciplines or we won’t succeed in getting out of disciplinary silos into a real synthesis of science and history. But, of course, the minute anyone constructs a story, narrative, or epic, one must be interpreting, if only by the choice of topics, words, sequence, etc. So interpretation and meaning are necessarily part of Big History. It’s important for us to be as transparent as possible about what we think the meaning is. I’m working on that, and many of us are. So I’m all in favor of working on meaning, although I resist the language of “hermeneutic turn”—maybe it works for a dissertation! All best wishes to you, Rich; I hope I’ll see you in August at the IBHA conference.
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