What Is Natural Order in History?

Natural Order in History: Understanding the Concept

The idea of natural order has been present in various fields, including philosophy, science, and history. In the context of history, natural order refers to the belief that events and developments occur in a predetermined sequence or pattern. This concept has been debated by scholars for years, with some arguing that it is a myth while others insist that it is a fundamental truth.

Defining Natural Order

Natural order, also known as natural law or naturalism, is a philosophical concept that suggests that there are certain laws and principles that govern the universe. These laws are believed to be innate and self-evident, meaning they do not require any external intervention or explanation. In the context of history, natural order refers to the idea that historical events and developments follow a certain pattern or sequence.

The Origin of Natural Order

The concept of natural order can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophy. Aristotle believed in teleology, which is the study of purpose or design in nature.

According to Aristotle, everything in nature has a purpose and follows a predetermined sequence. This belief was later adopted by other philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas during the medieval period.

In modern times, natural order has been used to explain various phenomena such as evolution and social progress. Some scholars argue that natural order is simply a way of making sense of complex events and patterns in history.

Criticism of Natural Order

Despite its widespread use in various fields, natural order has been criticized by many scholars for its deterministic approach to history. Critics argue that this concept fails to account for human agency and free will. They point out that historical events are shaped by multiple factors such as individual choices, cultural norms, and political systems.

Moreover, some critics argue that the idea of natural order is often used to justify oppressive social structures such as imperialism and racism. For instance, colonial powers often justified their actions by claiming they were fulfilling their duty to bring civilization to “uncivilized” societies, which they believed were lagging behind in the natural order of progress.


In conclusion, natural order is a complex concept that has been debated by scholars for centuries. While some believe in its validity, others criticize it for its deterministic approach to history. Regardless of one’s stance, understanding this concept is essential for gaining a deeper understanding of historical events and their underlying causes.