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History of the Triple Existence: Matter, Life, and Thought

about the book by William McGaughey


I. Table of Contents



by William McGaughey


Chapter 1 Origin of the Cosmos
Chapter 2 The Earth and Solar System
Chapter 3 Life Appears on Earth
Chapter 4 The Human Species Appears
Chapter 5 The Beginning of Human Culture and Thought

Chapter 6 The First Epoch of Civilization: Development of Imperial Government
Chapter 7 The Second Epoch of Civilization: Development of World Religion
Chapter 8 The Third Epoch of Civilization: Development of Commerce and Education
Chapter 9 The Fourth Epoch of Civilization: Development of News and Entertainment

Chapter 10 The Fifth Epoch of Civilization: Development of Computers

Chapter 11 Intelligent Machine Life



II. Other information about the book

Price: $26.95 per copy

Publisher: Thistlerose Publications - See Publisher's Website

Distribution: through Bookmasters, Ashland, OH

ISBN: 978-0-9-605630-7-4

Type of book: hardcover, 5.5" x 8.5", 544 pages, 10 point Palatino font for text

Illustrations: 170 black and white

Tables: 31

Other: has appendix, bibliography, and index

To order directly from publisher: Send cashier's check or money order for $26.95 (in U.S. dollars) to: Thistlerose Publications, 1702 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405, U.S.A. plus $3.95 shipping & handling (foreign orders: $10.00 shipping & handling). Be sure to enclose this information: name, mailing address, email address. The book may be returned in good condition for a full refund within 30 days if you are not satisfied. (Shipping & handling not refunded)

link to the publisher's web site:


III. About the author

A 1964 graduate of Yale University, William McGaughey presented a novel theory of world history in his book Five Epochs of Civilization, published in 2000. A companion book, Rhythm and Self-Consciousness, was published in the following year. McGaughey was program chair of the annual conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations in New Orleans in 2011 on the 50th anniversary of its founding in Salzburg, Austria, by a group of prominent historians. He also participated in the Globalistics-2013 international scientific conference at Lomonosov Moscow State University in October, 2013. McGaughey belongs to the newly formed International Big History Association and currently lives in Minneapolis.


IV. Brief description of book's themes

This history, in the genre of Big History, tells the story of the creation of the universe focusing upon three types of being: matter, life, and thought. The story of matter's creation involves the Big Bang, the formation of stars and of the solar system and planet earth. The story of life covers the origin and evolution of living species including Homo sapiens. The story of thought is the story of human thought in its various forms with anticipation that thought processes may be replicated with increasing sophistication by machines. Human thought is embodied in words, first spoken and then written, and in verbal and mathematical formulations in printed texts or electronic codings. In the period of civilization, thought is expressed through successive communication technologies. It is embodied in institutions functioning in society as well as in machines. World history is the manifestation of the creative thoughts of human beings and of struggles for power and position within human communities. However, the future may lie in artificial intelligence.


V. Endorsements

“ As a historian of south Asia, I introduced comparative world history to the University of Minnesota along with several colleagues. William McGaughey’s brilliant treatise on world history and big history represents a new historiographical dimension that takes us back to an age long before human civilization began and covers life in its many forms along with other events of causal significance.”

- David Kopf, professor of history emeritus, University of Minnesota

“ In our times we deal with various systems that have a great impact upon our lives, our civilization and our small planet Earth. Therefore the book’s integrated approach to life in the very broad context of cosmology and civilization prepares us for a better understanding of the purpose and strategy of beings such as ourselves in the current development of the Cosmos.”

- Dr. Andrew Targowski, Western Michigan University, president emeritus of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations, creator of the Polish infostrada (information superhighway)

“ This is a philosophically rich book that continues the line of universal histories by Polybius, Kant, Herder, and Christian. It takes us from the beginning of the universe through a series of originally conceived civilizations to the semi-fantastic era of artificial intelligence.”

- Professor Tatiana Shestova, faculty of global studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University



the book's front cover


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