History, differential inclusions and narrative

Recent advances in the theory of dynamic systems, set-valued analysis, and viability theory offer new and interesting perspectives on the shapping of social and historical time. Specific aspects of these theories are presented in several different areas to show their concrete applications in history and historical demo-economy, and a parallel is established with novelist Tanizaki's fictional technique. In connection with this, McCloskey's 1991 comparision of storytelling with deterministic chaos is discussed and a critique of other models concerned with unpredictability in human affairs provided. Finally, the shappings of social and historical time are described in terms of the viable strategies at the heart of evolutionary processes involving human agents interacting with a variety of constraints.