The opposite of cowardice is rashness, and courage the mean between
Imagining new approaches to the humanities
“What could history have been?” The question asks how events might have turned out otherwise, if only X had happened instead of Y. What if JFK hadn’t been assassinated? What if Hitler had? The official term for this kind of what-if thinking is “counterfactual history,” and it covers anything from an academic’s earnest attempt to imagine the US economy without railroads to Quentin Tarantino’s WWII redux Jewish revenge fantasy, Inglourious Basterds — anything, that is, which imagines history as it did not happen.
But the same question can be the spur to a different kind of speculation.“History,” after all, has two meanings. It’s not just the sum of past events, but the discipline that studies them. …