Jackie's Reviews > What Is History?

What Is History? by Edward Hallett Carr
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Jun 14, 2010

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Read from July 09 to 12, 2010

Excerpt from my essay:

Carr quickly discredits the notion of history as a universal entity, lambasting Acton’s proposal of an “ultimate history” by indicating that such a concept imposes a complete separation between subject and object. The 19th century positivist claim that history is a pure science is a false conviction based not on reality but rather, as Carr calls it, a “cult of facts.” Factuality comprises merely one aspect of the historian’s task. To have meaning, facts must be properly analyzed and assembled by an individual, thereby adding an element of subjectivity to any historical finding. Data may be lost or incomplete; one historian’s rationale may differ from another’s; the causes of any particular event may not have been inevitable. In order to be scientific, history would necessarily need to possess postulates which apply universally and can be re-applied with the same results. Since no historical trend can be re-applied to produce exact results, we cannot ignore that there are other complicit factors in its make-up.
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Brenda Wow - well said Jackie!!


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