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Person

Theodore Zeldin

(b. 1933) Historian & Author

 



Profession(s)

Author, Historian, Philosopher, Writer, Public Speaker

Internal Links

The Oxford Muse; Oxford University

External Links

Biography on the Oxford Muse 
BBC Interview 

Categories

Conversation; Dialogue; Future; History

Location

United Kingdom, Oxford

Amazon.com

Books by Theodore Zeldin 

Amazon.co.uk

Books by Theodore Zeldin 

Wikipedia

Theodore Zeldin

Google It!

Theodore Zeldin 

Other

People

Image
Theodore Zeldin
Theodore Zeldin is the President of the Oxford Muse Foundation and is a philosopher, historian, writer and public speaker.

He is a former dean of St Anthony's College, Oxford and has been hailed as "one of the forty world figures whose ideas are likely to have a lasting relevance to the new millennium" (Independent on Sunday, UK.) and "one of the hundred most important thinkers in the world" (Magazine litteraire, France).

He is probably best known as the author of An Intimate History of Humanity which offers a somewhat different perspective on human history by focusing on the evolution of feelings and personal relationships. He is also the author of Conversation, a book based on a series of BBC Radio 4 talks that looks at the importance of conversion and how it can change your life.

He is President of The Oxford Muse, a Foundation developing more inspiring ways of working, of understanding others and being understood by them, of widening one’s horizons, one’s contacts and one’s potential. This is what he says about the Muse.

"I invented something called The Oxford Muse. The Muses were women in mythology. They did not teach or require to be worshipped, but they were a source of inspiration. They taught you how to cultivate your emotions through the different arts in order to reach a higher plane. What is lacking now, I believe, is somewhere you can get that stimulation ‚ not information, but stimulation ‚ where you can meet just that person, or find just that situation, which will give you the idea of invention, of carrying out some project which interests you, and show how it can become a project of interest to other people. "


Video: Theodore Zeldin discusses the results of the Courage Beer Conversations Survey.



Philosopher and historian Theodore Zeldin discusses the results of the Courage Beer Conversations Survey.

Media Information: Image


Article
  In Conversation: Learn to Listen and to Tell the Truth by David Gurteen
A short article on conversation

Blog Post
  Theodore Zeldin on Inspiration
Gurteen Knowledge-Log, David Gurteen, 2 February 2004

  Self-portraits and Blogging
Gurteen Knowledge-Log, David Gurteen, 1 March 2004

  Zeldin I LOVE the stuff you do!
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 24 August 2009

  An interview with Theodore Zeldin
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 15 November 2009

  Are many conversations pointless and does technology discourage face to face interaction?
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 18 August 2010

  Conversation down the pub with Theodore Zeldin
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 August 2011

  A conversation doesn't just shuffle the deck of cards -- it creates new ones
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 September 2011

  Take a Seat and Make a Friend
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 28 December 2013

Book
  An Intimate History of Humanity (Jan 1996) by Theodore Zeldin

  Conversation (1998) by Theodore Zeldin
How Talk Can Change Your Life

Category
  Conversation [127 items]
Business is a conversation because the defining work of business is conversation - literally.

Knowledge-Letter
  Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 20 - 4th February 2002

  Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 21 - 4th March 2002

Link
  Oxford University
Oxford University, England

  The Oxford Muse
Theodore Zeldin's website

Media File
  Video: Theodore Zeldin discusses the results of the Courage Beer Conversations Survey.
Theodore Zeldin discusses the results of the Courage Beer Conversations Survey

Person
  Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

Quotation
  On being a catalyst by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On breakthroughs in the way we treat each other by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On changing the way you think by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On conversation and emerging a slightly different person by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On deciding what kind of conversations we have by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On impoverishing ourselves by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On individuals by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On invention and progress by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On personal history by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On technology and communication by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  On your adequacy as a human being by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  We are so steeped in debate by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author

  When minds meet by Theodore Zeldin (b. 1933) Historian & Author



Quotations from Theodore Zeldin:

 To be a catalyst is the ambition most appropriate for those who see the world as being in constant change, and who, without thinking that they can control it, wish to influence its direction.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author



 When will we make the same breakthroughs in the way we treat each other as we have made in technology?

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author



 Change the way you think, and you are halfway to changing the world.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
Conversation



 The kind of conversation I like is one in which you are prepared to emerge a slightly different person.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
Conversation



 It's up to us to decide on the kind of conversations we have. The way we talk at the office or factory shapes the work we do; it's not just machines which force us to be obedient. I want to show how we could make our work a lot less boring and frustrating if we learned to talk differently.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
Conversation



 We risk impoverishing ourselves more than we know if we sideline the personal dimension of life.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author



 [Socrates] introduced the idea that individuals could not be intelligent on their own, that they needed someone else to stimulate them. ... His brilliant idea was that if two unsure individuals were put together, they could achieve what they could not do separately: they could discover the truth, their own truth, for themselves.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
An Intimate History of Humanity



 All invention and progress comes from finding a link between two ideas that have never met.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
An Intimate History of Humanity



 If I were asked what sort of history I enjoy writing most, I would answer personal or individual history.

I do not like simple labels, but this one at least has the compensation that it has two faces, since it simultaneously hints at another aspiration of equal importance.

On the one hand it suggests a form of writing which openly expresses the personality of individual historians, in the same way as painting and novels do.

The ideal of scientific history arose from the prestige of scientific discoveries in the 19th century: the growth of individualism must inevitably give rise to an individualistic kind of history.

But Personal history is not just a method: it also invites a different subject matter, a concern for the role of the individual in the past. I happen to believe that a reaction is needed against the priority given to the study of classes, nations, movements and abstract forces.

Personal history appeals to historians who want to understand themselves through their work (as opposed to finding escape in their work) and who consider that a better understanding of the individual needs to be the next broad goal of historical research.

It thus hopes to use the growth of self-consciousness and of interest in emotional states to advance knowledge of both past and present. It regards the individual as the atom of history, and thinks it is time historians tried to split their atom, studying its constituent parts more carefully.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author



 Technology does not automatically improve conversation, communication or behaviour

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
Conversation



 No amount of status or reward will compensate for your inadequacy as a human being.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author



 Unfortunately we are so steeped in debate, proving one’s point and challenging others, that alternative possibilities for interaction are often eclipsed from our view.

It is interesting to notice that even when we say we want to dialogue we commonly end up in debate.

We appear to have a longing to do something different but the vortex of habit confounds us.

As a result our options for building mutual respect, deepening understanding among each other, and creating more beneficial outcomes than we experience currently are severely limited.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author



 Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits.

When minds meet, they don't just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, and engage in new trains of thought.

Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.

Theodore Zeldin, (b. 1933) Historian & Author
Conversation




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Saturday 26 July 2014
08:12 PM GDT