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Historiography

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Topic: Historiography
Posted By: egyptian goddess
Subject: Historiography
Date Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 11:35

Here is a new topic for people to consider.

To start discussion on historiography, I'd like to begin with questions relating to the concept of postmodernism. So here is my discussion question:
 
To what extent can the denial of historical events, such as holocaust denial (by David Irving) be attributted to the rise of postmodernist condition?
 
Just curious to see people's views on this.
 
 



Replies:
Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 12:45
Postmodernists basically believe that history isn't really that important because very little can be proven, and what is or can be proven is simply shaped by those who leave behind the traces of the past (IE, State records) What I always find amusing is that in the early 1960s, very few postmodernists were historians and very few historians were postmodernists. Now it seems that most historians have adopted some aspects of the postmodernist debate. Thankfully postmodernism as a whole has been largely debunked as a vain and typically irrelevant intellectual innovation of the 1960s and 1970s.
 
Personally I'm from a traditional school of historiography. I don't really regard the 'purpose' of history as in anyway being too important (Except maybe as a guide to 'past politics'. Bringing to mind a great quote from Seely, "All history is past politics") but find its importance in its storytelling form. There are lessons in history but historians must be important in trying to allow the reader or listener to come to his own conclusion. History is an excercise in reason, especially when you begin to tackle primary source material.


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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 20-Apr-2009 at 16:07
I agree with Parnell about postmodernism. It has indeed infiltrated into the writing of 'history' where it has failed as dismally as everywhere else.
 
On the question of the purpose of history I differ slightly, being essentially an economic historian seeking to derive knowledge that will help illuminate present and future policy. It's essential in economics especially because economics has gone so far off the rails in attempting to produce systems deduced from a priori assumptions regardless of the roots in reality or not.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: egyptian goddess
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 10:30

 



Posted By: Maharbbal
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 13:24
I wouldn't have such a hard appreciation of post-modernism's influence upon history. Granted it led to a fair amount of senseless slightly hysterical debates and to the emergence of the Latino-studies, Afro-American studies, whateverelse studies, not mentioning the feminist studies, which are a gross loss of place on the library's shelves.

But people like Barthes and Foucault have also written and inspired a fair share of brilliant historians (granted mostly continental): people like Carlo Ginzburg (the Cheese and the Worms), or Daniel Roche (History of common things). Foucault himself has written several very interesting books (an History of madness and an history of prisons). The Italian microstoria and the French histoire sociale both come directly from post-modernism.

You may not agree with some of their conclusions, preconceptions or methodologies but they were pretty brilliant.

PS: not sure what this Windshuttle guy has to do with post-modernism, he sound more pre-modernist (archaic if you wish).


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I am a free donkey!


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 13:31
Keith Windschuttle is noted for being a hardline empiricist and outspoken opponent of postmodernism. He was involved in an intellectual debacle known as the 'history wars', I believe. He has written a lot surrounding the emergence of 'black armband' history in regards to the Australian Aboriginals. 

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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 15:49
Originally posted by egyptian goddess egyptian goddess wrote:

I’m sorry Parnell but I don’t agree with your view that the purpose of the historian is not significant- I am glad that you acknowledge political purposes but I think it goes further than that have a read and I apologise its so long and almost reads as an essay LOL

 

My study of historiography has revealed that historians are indeed “people of their own time” (Carr), the context which they write in, influences their history.

Nope. It influences their view of history. It doesn't influence their history. For instance it makes no difference to whether they had measles as a child or not. Depending on their context they may think it a good thing they had it or a bad thing they had it but what they think makes no difference to whether they had it or not.
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While most historians have advocated that the purpose of history is to reveal and record the objective truth,
History has no purpose. It isn't the kind of thing that has a purpose. People and possibly other animals have purposes: history doesn't.
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Macintyre forms the argument that historians often manipulate facts to suit a culmination of political or national motivations.
Very true. Postmodernists do it all the time. Some policemen are corrupt: that doesn't mean law is a bad thing.
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This concept is particularly evident in the historical accounts constructed by Christian monk and historian Venerable Bede, whose primary purpose of constructing history was to propagate the bible and miracles performed by Christ and God to inspire Pagans to convert to Christianity. Bede essentially summarises his purpose in constructing history through his statement: “For if history records good things of good men … encouraged to imitate what is good…[the] reader is encouraged to avoid all that is sinful and perverse and to follow what he knows to be good and pleasing to God”.
That doesn't mean he distorted (deliberately or uncosciously) facts to bolster his message. He simply believed - naively possibly - that the way God worked in the world was that the truth would exemplify the good.
 
The Ecclesiastical History isn't all that reliable, granted, but it isn't because of his "context", it's because he had limited resources and access to evidence.
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Similarly, historian Edward Gibbon’s purpose for constructing history was essentially associated with serving his military and political motivations. This is reflected through his statement, “Wars and the administration of public affairs are the principle subjects of history”. Therefore Carl Becker was justified in stating, “we build our conceptions of history based out of our present needs and purposes”.
Again you are mixing up the purpose of the historian with history itself. Propagandists of course distort history, just as they do current events or evolution (or creationism for that matter). That makes no difference at all to the underlying reality.
 
Your mistake is similar to that of those who glibly assert "You can't believe what you read in the newspapers' or 'see on television' or whatever. Most of the time you c an believe what you read in newspapers. If Australia wipes out England in a 5-match test series all the newspapers report the fact. You don't get English patriotic papers claiming England won, or neutral countries saying it was a draw: you get the same scores in every newspaper that covers cricket.
 
Of course different people will have different explanations for the defeat (victory from Kights' point of view). But the history - the historical facts - are not subjective in the least.

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Consider the Australian Academic Keith Windschuttle’s history:

 

In his infamous “The Fabrication of Aboriginal History” (1997) it is apparent that a historian’s personal context or a nation’s ideology influences the selection of evidence in the construction of history.  This is evident as through my study I have discovered that while Windschuttle’s historical rival, Henry Reynolds’ histories were largely influenced by a period of Aboriginal recognition and reform, Windschuttle’s as part of a wider right-wing conservative campaign uses his history to justify contemporary decision-making, in that his history seemingly justified the Howard government’s refusal to support the Land Rights Movement and it’s reluctance to say “sorry”. Therefore, differing approaches to the construction of history is undoubtedly associated with the dominant political ideologies and purposes, as Robert Mane states, “sometimes the…historians of the disposition [have] and even more direct legal or political role”.

As Knights points out, none of that affects when the first fleet arrived in Australia: it doesn't affect either the fact that most of the Allied troops at Gallipoli were from Australia and New Zealand. There are many opinions about the gallipoli campaign, but for credibility they all have to marshal and conform to the same set of facts.
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Moreover, approaches to the construction of history changes due to the individual historian’s personal context, Keith Windshuttle appeared to posses a level of abhorrence towards the Indigenous Community of Tasmania as evident by his views that the Tasmanian Aboriginals were “violent, treacherous, bloodthirsty, cowardly and godless” (Cited in Macintyre).

That's an opinion. At least the first four adjectives are: the last is a fact that should be testable against the record. They either had gods or they didn't.
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Moreover, in the History Wars Stuart Macintyre quotes Windshuttle stating, “You can’t really be serious about feeling sympathy for someone who died 200 years ago”. This therefore calls into question whether you can really say that pthe purposes of the historians don’t matter when reading history. Essentially, Carl L Becker is accurate in stating, “we build our conceptions of history based out of our present needs and purposes”.
What does anyone's 'present needs and purposes' have to do with the Battle of Hasting being fought in 1066 and even won by the Normans? Saying that whether or not the Normans conquered England under William I depends on the context of the historian saying it is simply ludicrous.

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Clearly then, the purposes and aims of history, which are constantly changing to conform to each epoch’s social and political ideology, is imperative when considering the construction of history or reading history- whether you agree with the postmodernist stance or not.

History has neither purpose nor aim, any more than the moon has a purpose going around the earth. I'm not aware that postmodernists as such necessarily think it does, but only someone in a confused and confusing state of mind could say that it does.
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While the pursuit towards objectivity, is traditionally the fundamental purpose of history, the study of historiography has indeed revealed that each historians’ construction of history differs as their purposes seemingly differ.
It hasn't revealed that at all. What we all knew all along is that propagandists create propaganda. That's nothing to do with historiography in particular, it's part of the human condition. Unless you're prepared to argue that reality is illusion (which is a different topic) then you have to accept that reality exists, and is at least approximately describable.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 16:05
Originally posted by Maharbbal Maharbbal wrote:

I wouldn't have such a hard appreciation of post-modernism's influence upon history. Granted it led to a fair amount of senseless slightly hysterical debates and to the emergence of the Latino-studies, Afro-American studies, whateverelse studies, not mentioning the feminist studies, which are a gross loss of place on the library's shelves.

But people like Barthes and Foucault have also written and inspired a fair share of brilliant historians (granted mostly continental): people like Carlo Ginzburg (the Cheese and the Worms), or Daniel Roche (History of common things). Foucault himself has written several very interesting books (an History of madness and an history of prisons). The Italian microstoria and the French histoire sociale both come directly from post-modernism.
Foucault is not a postmodernist. At least not according to him he isn't. Not in his context that is Smile And Barthes was many things. Roche as far as I'm aware is simply an historian in the traditional sense who realised the importance of paying attention to things that were traditionally treated as insignificant or trivial. Something on which I agree with him: any social or economic historian would. Much the same goes for Ginzburg, from what I know of his work.
 
Not everyone younger than me is ipso facto a post-modernist.
 
PS: and histoire sociale in France goes back to the early 19th century:see the references at http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoire_sociale - http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histoire_sociale
 
My favourite book in  this vein from France is LaDurie's Montaillou. That's modern social history, and there's not a smidgeon of post-modernism about it.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 17:49
Well said gcle. I was going to post a rebuttal but you said everything I would have and more.

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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 18:05
What's a postmodernist?
 
Postmodernism was an attempt in philosophy to provide a more accurate model for the way the world works. The postmodern condition was a diagnosis of the world based upon observations rather like a doctor would diagnose someone with a STD based upon symptoms. The patient wouldn't then run round screaming I'm a Gonorrheaist, a load of over exited academics then start calling themselves Gonorrheaists to then start wring books on Gonorrheaist History, Gonorrheaist Psychology and so on.
 
You can't be a postmodernist, there is no such thing as postmodern history but no-one calling themselves a postmodernist has ever bothered to actually read a book on postmernism by the philosopher so doesn't realise this. It's best just to laugh at them and disregard anything they say.
 
Now to the question at hand.
 
 
Originally posted by egyptian goddess egyptian goddess wrote:

To what extent can the denial of historical events, such as holocaust denial (by David Irving) and the slaughter of Aboriginals in Tasmania [Australia] (by Keith Windschuttle) be attributted to the rise of postmodernist thought?
 
If we change the word from thought to condition, the answer it is almost entirely guilty.
 
If we backtrack the clock 100 years to before the postmodern age, there would have been an official history learnt in schools (similar to today) this would however have been taught by rote. Pupils would have been discouraged from questioning what they learnt, there would be few books around and people taught to respect the writers opinion by the mere fact he was one the few allowed to write a book.
 
Upon leaving school the culture of the world would be one of unquestioning belief in a lot of areas and respect and deference to authority and people who know better. If someone came along such as David Irving challenging an official view, he would have found it difficult to get published, difficult to get publicity, hard to find readers and then found few willing to go against their conditioning and believe him.
 
The definition of the postmodern age is one where the grand narratives no-longer hold sway, we have become a more cynical, irreverent people, so we now err towards disbelief. The cultural change from a world of belief in expertise to one of disbelief with out personal experience has made mainstream holocaust doubt possible.


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Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 18:33
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

If we backtrack the clock 100 years to before the postmodern age, there would have been an official history learnt in schools (similar to today) this would however have been taught by rote. Pupils would have been discouraged from questioning what they learnt, there would be few books around and people taught to respect the writers opinion by the mere fact he was one the few allowed to write a book.
 
Upon leaving school the culture of the world would be one of unquestioning belief in a lot of areas and respect and deference to authority and people who know better.
So there wasn't a Russian revolution after all? Cubism was just a dream?
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If someone came along such as David Irving challenging an official view, he would have found it difficult to get published, difficult to get publicity, hard to find readers and then found few willing to go against their conditioning and believe him.
Actually it was almost as easy to get published in early Victorian times as it is to blog on the internet nowadays. As long as you only charged a penny and put in enough sex and violence you could get away with anything - plus ça change.... A hundred years ago it got a bit more difficult because of increasing capital costs, but you could usually rely on the Guardian to take up counter-establishment causes...again, plus ça change....
 


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 21:30
Quote
The definition of the postmodern age is one where the grand narratives no-longer hold sway, we have become a more cynical, irreverent people, so we now err towards disbelief. The cultural change from a world of belief in expertise to one of disbelief with out personal experience has made mainstream holocaust doubt possible.
 
Not so sure about that. The grand narratives were all but dead by the 1920s (Apart from the bumper volume to volume accounts of the Great War and a few other big topics of the period) The postmodernists didn't begin to corrupt history writing until at least the mid  60s.


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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: egyptian goddess
Date Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 10:26

.



Posted By: egyptian goddess
Date Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 10:37

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Posted By: egyptian goddess
Date Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 11:53

Actually I was told that the purpose of history in general, as a medium is to inform us of the past. Apologies for positing a simplistic and trivial argument, I will refrain from making further contributions to this discussion



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"Each Age tries to form its own conceptions of the past. Each Age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in it’s own time". (Frederick Jackson Turner)


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 13:01
We are told many things. That we are told them doesn't mean they are correct or even sensible.

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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Byzantine Emperor
Date Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 21:47
Alright everyone.  Let us try and make this a fruitful discussion rather than a cat-and-mouse game of telling people who is right and wrong.  Historiography is largely based on opinion afterall; the "facts" are which person started what movement.
 
Must we not first begin with a running definition of what a school's method of analysis is?  What we are talking about now seems to be Postmodernism, which is a very difficult thing to define.  It has so many possible definitions depending on the discipline and time period.  It is like "nailing jelly to a wall" in the words of Peter Novak.
 
Originally posted by egyptian goddess egyptian goddess wrote:

To what extent can the denial of historical events, such as holocaust denial (by David Irving) be attributted to the rise of postmodernist condition?
 
Seemingly Postmodernism, when taken to its logical extremes, or even at the outset of analysis, allows the practitioner to assert whatever they want.  There are no facts or "monolithic" rules by which one must abide.  There definitely is no truth; or, truth is subjecitivzed and relativized to the extent that it becomes the practitioner's own internal truth. 
 
Of course, ones who deny the Holocaust and the like will be shot down as cranks.  But within much more specialized areas of history they can thrive like roaches after a nuclear strike.  If they are writing on touchy subjects such as race or women's history, they will be allowed to continue writing historical quackery because it has become politically incorrect to refute them whether it is with real evidence or out of old school misogyny.
 
Originally posted by Maharbbal Maharbbal wrote:

But people like Barthes and Foucault have also written and inspired a fair share of brilliant historians (granted mostly continental): people like Carlo Ginzburg (the Cheese and the Worms), or Daniel Roche (History of common things). Foucault himself has written several very interesting books (an History of madness and an history of prisons). The Italian microstoria and the French histoire sociale both come directly from post-modernism.
 
These people, along with Bourdieu in anthro and Durkheim in sociology, are the ones I generally think of as having an influence on the development of postmodernist thought.  Foucault especially is important.  His vocabulary has been appropriated into something like an academic language which is flashed around in publications and at conferences.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Nope. It influences their view of history. It doesn't influence their history. For instance it makes no difference to whether they had measles as a child or not. Depending on their context they may think it a good thing they had it or a bad thing they had it but what they think makes no difference to whether they had it or not.
 
I think Marx et al. would have a big problem with this assertion.  The material conditions in which people operate actively influence historical experience and consciousness.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

History has no purpose. It isn't the kind of thing that has a purpose. People and possibly other animals have purposes: history doesn't.
 
This is a pretty bold assumption!  From what basis are your arguing this?  Personal experience, subjective viewpoint, divine revelation?
 
Perhaps the better way to talk about this is whether or not history has teleology.
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Of course different people will have different explanations for the defeat (victory from Kights' point of view). But the history - the historical facts - are not subjective in the least.
 
This is all fine and dandy.  However, it is more difficult to explain how historians arrive at and interpret the "facts."  Obviously this is the purpose of historiography.  What is the point in making this assertion if you believe that there is no point in at least trying to aim for objectivivity?
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What does anyone's 'present needs and purposes' have to do with the Battle of Hasting being fought in 1066 and even won by the Normans? Saying that whether or not the Normans conquered England under William I depends on the context of the historian saying it is simply ludicrous.
 
What is the purpose in using such divisive language against egyptian goddess?  She has come here with an interest and wants to discuss it.  It does not appear as if she is one of the other people whom you have chosen in the past to engage in total intellectual warfare with such as Drgonzaga.  Our (or at least my) objective as moderator is to retain members and not purposefully scare them away.
 


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http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=12713 - Late Byzantine Military
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=17337 - Ottoman perceptions of the Americas


Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 01:41
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

Seemingly Postmodernism, when taken to its logical extremes, or even at the outset of analysis, allows the practitioner to assert whatever they want.  There are no facts or "monolithic" rules by which one must abide.  There definitely is no truth; or, truth is subjecitivzed and relativized to the extent that it becomes the practitioner's own internal truth. 
 
Practitioner of postmedernismConfused - I suppose you mean us all, we all live in the postmodern age, but we hardly get a choice about that or to practice anything. Is a fish in a fish tank a practioner of swimming?
 
There are most definately rules by which one must abide.
 
Practitioner's own truthConfused. - You mean a conservative politician supoorts lower taxes and labour politician higher ones. Isn't that just having a different opinion?
 
 
 
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

 
What is the purpose in using such divisive language against egyptian goddess?  She has come here with an interest and wants to discuss it.  It does not appear as if she is one of the other people whom you have chosen in the past to engage in total intellectual warfare with such as Drgonzaga.  Our (or at least my) objective as moderator is to retain members and not purposefully scare them away.
 
 
I agree she put up no intellectual theory so should have been granted non-combatant status. When I saw the post this morning my first thought was another one bites the dust.
 


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Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 01:45
As is too often the case, argument is more popular on AE than analysis.
 
It may be part of the reason the forums are showing some signs of stress - actually signs of withering away. 
 
 


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 09:26
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

As is too often the case, argument is more popular on AE than analysis.
 
It may be part of the reason the forums are showing some signs of stress - actually signs of withering away. 
 
 
 
A bold statement!
 
Actually, argument is the life blood of history. So long as its conducted in a civil manner that is.


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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 10:26
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Nope. It influences their view of history. It doesn't influence their history. For instance it makes no difference to whether they had measles as a child or not. Depending on their context they may think it a good thing they had it or a bad thing they had it but what they think makes no difference to whether they had it or not.
 
I think Marx et al. would have a big problem with this assertion.  The material conditions in which people operate actively influence historical experience and consciousness.
Of course the material conditions in which people operate influence their experience and consciousness, not just in regard to history and how they perceive is but in regard
to wnything else. This was why I originally said the statement was trivial.
 
However I fail to see that Marx would have considered it a matter of someone's moral or economic or historical viewpoint and context whether they had had measles as a child or not. 
 
Marx certainly considered the economic circumstances of any period/location to be factual determinants of what happened in them: to put it at its simplest he thought he was right and his opponents wrong.
Quote  
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

History has no purpose. It isn't the kind of thing that has a purpose. People and possibly other animals have purposes: history doesn't.
 
This is a pretty bold assumption!  From what basis are your arguing this?  Personal experience, subjective viewpoint, divine revelation?
Ontology. Only animate beings are capable of formulating purpose. I accept I probably should have added 'gods and other supernatural entities' to my list of entities to which it is legitimate to attribute purpose.
 
Colloquially we can of course talk of the 'purpose' of a hammer, say, but even elementary analysis indicates we are talking of the purpose of the user of the hammer - or perhaps its designer. History however is neither an animate creature nor a tool.
 
I get particularly het up on this error because no discipline has suffered more from the same error than economics (except perhaps evolutionary biology).
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Perhaps the better way to talk about this is whether or not history has teleology.
That might be better, in that it would be legitimate (if not necessarily correct) to say that history, for instance, reveals god's purpose in creation (or some such phrase).
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Of course different people will have different explanations for the defeat (victory from Kights' point of view). But the history - the historical facts - are not subjective in the least.
 
This is all fine and dandy.  However, it is more difficult to explain how historians arrive at and interpret the "facts."  Obviously this is the purpose of historiography.  What is the point in making this assertion if you believe that there is no point in at least trying to aim for objectivivity?
I don't understand why you're asking me that (OK, maybe you're not asking me Smile) I'm holding that it is desirable to aim for objectivity, and that pointing out that this is difficult is trivial, or at least unnecessary. We know it's difficult and we've always known it was difficult - does anyone think that the people who originally read Xenophon didn't know he was influence by his own views and personal background?
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Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What does anyone's 'present needs and purposes' have to do with the Battle of Hasting being fought in 1066 and even won by the Normans? Saying that whether or not the Normans conquered England under William I depends on the context of the historian saying it is simply ludicrous.
 
What is the purpose in using such divisive language against egyptian goddess?  She has come here with an interest and wants to discuss it.  It does not appear as if she is one of the other people whom you have chosen in the past to engage in total intellectual warfare with such as Drgonzaga.  Our (or at least my) objective as moderator is to retain members and not purposefully scare them away.
 
I wasn't and am not engaged against egyptian goddess personally, but against the point of view she put forward, which I consider a harmful (and rather naive) one. As she made clear, it isn't her view, but one she had been presented with. That she took it personally is a pity.
 
If I think something is ludicrous, why shouldn't I say so?


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: egyptian goddess
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 12:11

this discussion is off topic.



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"Each Age tries to form its own conceptions of the past. Each Age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in it’s own time". (Frederick Jackson Turner)


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 12:19
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Actually I said that it was my own (perhaps naive) but it was my own view. I am a mere student, and perhaps amateur in the area of historiography, I did not take what you said personally and clearly once I saw my views appeared invalid or as you pointed out trivial, I withdrew them. I do not need your pity, simply because I am clearly at an age still developing my views and understanding these concepts, which traditionally people my age are not engaged with untill they reach a more mature stage. As for you, its a shame that you are so hard headed and unable to consider arguments which oppose your own. I guess thats what happens when your 75 years old. go ahead and quote me and tell me that this is ludicrous as well... this thread is going off on a major tangent and its a shame that I have only been a member for less than a week and found little value in engaging in these discussions.
 
If this is the way you react to a little jostling then maybe we'd be better off without you. And having a go at his age is a low blow. Gcle is one of the cleverest and intellectually generous on these boards.


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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 15:56
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

As is too often the case, argument is more popular on AE than analysis.
 
It may be part of the reason the forums are showing some signs of stress - actually signs of withering away. 
 
A bold statement!
 
Actually, argument is the life blood of history. So long as its conducted in a civil manner that is.
 
I'm neither Marxist not Hegelian, not do I accept that historical development is driven by a dialectic. However, it is the opposition and interplay of thesis and antithesis - i.e. argument - that leads to synthesis in the growth of understanding and knowledge.
 
Broadly, no-one ever learned anything from someone who agreed with him.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: King John
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 16:43
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Quote
Actually I said that it was my own (perhaps naive) but it was my own view. I am a mere student, and perhaps amateur in the area of historiography, I did not take what you said personally and clearly once I saw my views appeared invalid or as you pointed out trivial, I withdrew them. I do not need your pity, simply because I am clearly at an age still developing my views and understanding these concepts, which traditionally people my age are not engaged with untill they reach a more mature stage. As for you, its a shame that you are so hard headed and unable to consider arguments which oppose your own. I guess thats what happens when your 75 years old. go ahead and quote me and tell me that this is ludicrous as well... this thread is going off on a major tangent and its a shame that I have only been a member for less than a week and found little value in engaging in these discussions.
 
If this is the way you react to a little jostling then maybe we'd be better off without you. And having a go at his age is a low blow. Gcle is one of the cleverest and intellectually generous on these boards.
Gcle is perfectly capable of defending himself, Parnell.  There is no need to continue this argument.  Don't make people feel unwanted, it is diversity of opinion that makes the forum so great.  If she got upset by his comments she is allowed to voice her displeasure.  Again please don't tell people "we'd be better off without you."


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 17:29
Originally posted by King John King John wrote:

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

Quote
Actually I said that it was my own (perhaps naive) but it was my own view. I am a mere student, and perhaps amateur in the area of historiography, I did not take what you said personally and clearly once I saw my views appeared invalid or as you pointed out trivial, I withdrew them. I do not need your pity, simply because I am clearly at an age still developing my views and understanding these concepts, which traditionally people my age are not engaged with untill they reach a more mature stage. As for you, its a shame that you are so hard headed and unable to consider arguments which oppose your own. I guess thats what happens when your 75 years old. go ahead and quote me and tell me that this is ludicrous as well... this thread is going off on a major tangent and its a shame that I have only been a member for less than a week and found little value in engaging in these discussions.
 
If this is the way you react to a little jostling then maybe we'd be better off without you. And having a go at his age is a low blow. Gcle is one of the cleverest and intellectually generous on these boards.
Gcle is perfectly capable of defending himself, Parnell.  There is no need to continue this argument.  Don't make people feel unwanted, it is diversity of opinion that makes the forum so great.  If she got upset by his comments she is allowed to voice her displeasure.  Again please don't tell people "we'd be better off without you."


I think its a disgrace you are prepared to overlook a cheeky comment based on someone's age. And I am equally entitled to 'voice my displeasure' if someone is behaving like an ass.


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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: King John
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 19:44
I didn't over look any comment about anybody's age.  Has Gcle taken any offense to the comment?  If he has I must have missed it.  My point is that you shouldn't be making anybody feel unwanted even if you disagree with what they are saying.  If you said something like the comment was a low blow and left it at that, that would be fine.  Instead you react by saying that her reaction to "a little jostling" should mean that we, as a forum, would be better off with out her.  

I understand this is your way of voicing your displeasure but your behavior is no better than anyone else's here.  The point still stands don't tell people "we'd be better off with out you."

PS: Was her reaction a bit over the top?  Sure, I think so, but it doesn't warrant your reaction.  As I said Gcle is perfectly able to defend himself, if he was so offended he could have said and still can say something about her comment.


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 19:50
This is off topic to the degree of farce. Needless to say having a go at someone because of their age is a disgrace, and should be treated the same way we would treat someone having a go because they are black, Jewish whatever. The person reacted to a little discussion with an obscene reaction and a personal insult. We'd be better off without that type of person. Ban me if you don't like it.

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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: King John
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 19:55
I don't disagree with you about the swipe at somebody's age.  However, that swipe was not obscene.  All I'm asking is that you refrain from telling people we don't need them here.  That's not that difficult, you could point out that the comment was unnecessary and leave it at that.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 20:14
I appreciate everyone's concern.
 
However, getting back on topic, I note that no-one has actually said that they agree with the 'postmodernist' position that there is something new or significant about noticing that people's views are influenced by their metanarratives, the contexts they develop in (in particular in the description and analysis of historical events.
 
Does anyone so agree? Or think I'm asking the wrong question, or using the wrong vocabulary?
 
To clarify: I think people are influenced by their contexts. What I don't accept is that it's worth going on about.
 
PS I share Paul's view about the suitability of the term 'postmodern', but I'm going with the flow here.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 20:52
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
However, getting back on topic, I note that no-one has actually said that they agree with the 'postmodernist' position that there is something new or significant about noticing that people's views are influenced by their metanarratives, the contexts they develop in (in particular in the description and analysis of historical events.
 
I believe the Postmodern Condition is people no-longer believing in 'metanarratives' but instead inventing their own 'little narratives'. So people stop being catholic (meta or grand narrative) and start a suicide cult, become trekkies or creationists and so on. Or stop watching network TV and start making and responding to vids on YouTube. Whereas in the past there were few products and lots of people used one, now people prefer to choose from a large number of different products and each has few buyers.
 
I don't see how this is a position though, it is simply supposed to be an impirically observed fact.  If you use a Marxist model it is largely irrelevant as religion, shopping habits and TV viewing habits are not considered important, if you use the Postmodern model media, consumerism and alienation are some of the most important things.
 
I don't think it's a typical ideological model that people are influenced by their 'little narrative' or 'discourses', they intially choose them from the vast menu of options (ie scientology) then choose to adhere to them and treat their logic as truth. They are then influenced by them but only after they have chosen to be. The postmodern note is unlike previous model this is a voluntary choice of influence, so when people have these views treat it and them as such.


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Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: Byzantine Emperor
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 21:16
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

I believe the Postmodern Condition is people no-longer believing in 'metanarratives' but instead inventing their own 'little narratives'. So people stop being catholic (meta or grand narrative) and start a suicide cult, become trekkies or creationists and so on. Or stop watching network TV and start making and responding to vids on YouTube.
 
This is true when applied to culture.  However, within the discipline of history, there could still be a metanarrative within a text.  The point of departure comes when that metanarrative is subjectivized by the reader or person "interacting" or "participating" with the text that it becomes something totally different or internalized relative to the participant.  As part of the discourse it is shaped and changed by the reader(s).
 
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

I don't see how this is a position though, it is simply supposed to be an impirically observed fact. Whereas in the past there were few products and lots of people used one, now people prefer to choose from a large number of different products and each has few buyers. If you use a Marxist model it is largely irrelevant as religion, shopping habits and TV viewing habits are not considered important, if you use the Postmodern model media, consumerism and alienation are the most things.
 
What you are talking about here is basically Max Weber's stinging critique of Marx's materialist dialectic.  Outward appearences do not necessarily reveal one's relationship to the means of production.  For Weber, social status is created by outward appearance and patterns of consumption.  Thus, social status and consciousness, and the formation of power relationships, can be based on other things besides economic power.  Ideas, including religious convictions, are not relegated to mere superstructure.
 


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http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=12713 - Late Byzantine Military
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=17337 - Ottoman perceptions of the Americas


Posted By: Chilbudios
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 21:24
I happen to agree with the skepticism against meta-narratives (and with the relevance of this 'postmodernist' stance), especially in disciplines like history (Byzantine Emperor provided a good example with the text being re-shaped by each reading). This is also proven by a good deal of modern scholarship. However, as suggested above, it's a bit more than the issue of meta-narratives, that's a simplification of the entire issue.
 
But as long as there's no serious interest for discussion (the thread opener seemed to have it so but she(?)'s now gone), I cannot do anything but state this opinon. Alternatively I can supply a bibliography, but my bitter experience in this forum is that people care rather to express their opinions instead of reading and learning.
 
I have just remembered that some time ago I linked an essay about postmodernism and post-structuralism in history in some other thread but there were no takers.


Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 22:07
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

I believe the Postmodern Condition is people no-longer believing in 'metanarratives' but instead inventing their own 'little narratives'. So people stop being catholic (meta or grand narrative) and start a suicide cult, become trekkies or creationists and so on. Or stop watching network TV and start making and responding to vids on YouTube.
 
This is true when applied to culture.  However, within the discipline of history, there could still be a metanarrative within a text.  The point of departure comes when that metanarrative is subjectivized by the reader or person "interacting" or "participating" with the text that it becomes something totally different or internalized relative to the participant.  As part of the discourse it is shaped and changed by the reader(s).
 
How exactly is this different to what I said?


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Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: Byzantine Emperor
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 22:16
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

I believe the Postmodern Condition is people no-longer believing in 'metanarratives' but instead inventing their own 'little narratives'. So people stop being catholic (meta or grand narrative) and start a suicide cult, become trekkies or creationists and so on. Or stop watching network TV and start making and responding to vids on YouTube.
 
This is true when applied to culture.  However, within the discipline of history, there could still be a metanarrative within a text.  The point of departure comes when that metanarrative is subjectivized by the reader or person "interacting" or "participating" with the text that it becomes something totally different or internalized relative to the participant.  As part of the discourse it is shaped and changed by the reader(s).
 
How exactly is this different to what I said?
 
Were you meaning to say that metanarratives do not/no longer exist because of postmodernism?  Or by saying that people "no-longer believe" in metanarratives, you mean that people in the postmodernist age place less value on ideas and metanarratives?
 
I was saying that metanarratives do in fact exist and are acknowledged by postmodernist historians.  However, the metanarratives are so subjectivized and relativized in scholarship that they often become something totally different.  In my opinion, this defeats the purpose of defining the thing as something all-pervasive and stable.
 


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http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=12713 - Late Byzantine Military
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=17337 - Ottoman perceptions of the Americas


Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 23-Apr-2009 at 22:43
Meta or grand narratives are unsubjectivised narratives. If it's sujectivised it's not a metanarrative by definition.
 
Metanarratives exist, just if they are subjectified buy individuals they are now 'little narratives' and instead of having everyone believing in one metanarrative you have everyone believing in their own little narrative.
 
If everybody subjectivises a metanarrative it nolonger exists and there you have the postmodern age, where the grand narratives are either minority beliefs or being gradually subjectified out of existence.
 
 


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Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 10:57
My question is still what's supposed to be new about all this, except for the invention of a new vocabulary to talk about it, and one that on the whole doesn't stand up to linguistic analysis (consider 'metanarratives exist')? Many years ago, G.M.Trevelyan wrote of his work on Garibaldi: "Without bias, I should never have written them at all. For I was moved to write them by a poetical sympathy with the passions of the Italian patriots of the period, which I retrospectively shared." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._M._Trevelyan#cite_note-hernon-2 - [
 
It's not that "metanarratives don't exist" or have only recently been noticed: they have always existed (insofar as that can be said at all), and always been subjectified , and always been noticed. That doesn't mean there should be any less need to search for objectivity, or, fr that matter, to re-weave micro-histories into macro ones.
 
I grant that more microhistory is now written than before, but it's been around a long time. And in any case more history is now being written than ever before, and a whole stack more PhDs are being granted and another whole stack of history departments now exist.
 
Which apart from anything else means a greater drive to find niches for study and publication - not just in the local sense but also in the subject, like the history of salt for instance. However that drive has always existed: my own tutor, Sir John Plumb, started by analysing one single Parliament in the early 18th century. 


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Parnell
Date Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 11:57
I've posted a longer post on the other thread about history's percieved purpose. Is it just me or is rather confusing having two topics on practically the same thing?

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"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.


Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 12:41
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
I grant that more microhistory is now written than before, but it's been around a long time. And in any case more history is now being written than ever before, and a whole stack more PhDs are being granted and another whole stack of history departments now exist.
 
 
Maybe it's that in the past macrohistories were the mainstream views and microhistories a minority view and this has now swapped around.
 


-------------
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 12:59
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

I've posted a longer post on the other thread about history's percieved purpose. Is it just me or is rather confusing having two topics on practically the same thing?


The other thread seems a bit less active, but I will just check with Gcle and BE before I close it. Smile


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Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 22:36
Interesting topic so far. I have observed it from afar, but not participated yet.
 
Let us keep up with the guidelines by keeping away from personal attacks. Furthermore, this forum has a few basic guidelines that you choose to abide by once you post and join this community. Please be aware of that, and please read up on those as well.
 
The code of conduct can be found http://allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=6512&FID=3&PR=3 - here.

*Changed to a more general tone. 


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Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 24-Apr-2009 at 23:52
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

it would be wise for you to discontinue attacks on individuals based on their age
 
Damn I was just going to call gcle too young and immature. Won't bother now.


-------------
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: es_bih
Date Posted: 25-Apr-2009 at 07:37


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 25-Apr-2009 at 10:32
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

it would be wise for you to discontinue attacks on individuals based on their age
 
Damn I was just going to call gcle too young and immature. Won't bother now.
 
Feel free to do so, Paul. I can take the truth.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 25-Apr-2009 at 10:35
Originally posted by Paul Paul wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
I grant that more microhistory is now written than before, but it's been around a long time. And in any case more history is now being written than ever before, and a whole stack more PhDs are being granted and another whole stack of history departments now exist.
 
 
Maybe it's that in the past macrohistories were the mainstream views and microhistories a minority view and this has now swapped around.
 
 
Yes. I was suggesting a reason for the change - i.e. that it grows easier to find more topics for micro-history than for macro the more historians there are around.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.


Posted By: Chilbudios
Date Posted: 26-Apr-2009 at 22:08


Originally posted by Knights Knights wrote:


Originally posted by egyptian goddess egyptian goddess wrote:

Therefore E.H. Carr is accurate in stating, “The facts speaks only when the historian calls on them. It is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context”.

I'd like to discuss your use of Carr's quote first of all. In his 'What is History', Carr makes an equivalent distinction to the one I made in my first post - that of 'historical facts' and 'history'. He terms these "facts of history" and "facts of the past", respectively. The former, he goes on to explain, are objective for all intents and purposes - my example of 'dates' in history, for instance. The latter however, "the facts of the past", are those which he views as being the primary concern of historians. For the remainder of the book, after setting these out in Chapter One, Carr deals with 'facts of the past', which he goes on to make the 'fish in the ocean' analogy about. Thus, in your quote Carr is referring to these 'facts of the past', which are subjectively interpreted and subsequently represented, by the historian. His quote is not talking about 'historical facts'. In essence, I am saying that what Carr deems 'facts of history', and what I mentioned earlier as 'historical facts' are objective, whilst Carr's 'facts of the past' (my 'history') are open to selective representation by the historian.

Knights, I quoted from the other thread your reply addressed to Egyptian Goddess (I hope my excerpt is fair enough). While I don't agree with her conclusive remark from that post, I also don't think your assessment of Carr's quote is correct, mainly because the aforementioned quote is about "historical facts" which according to Carr are not that objective, Carr's position being anti-empiricist to a degree.

The quote is part of larger paragraph in chapter I which starts with "What is a historical fact?". I'll quote a bit more for a better understanding:

 ... the necessity to establish these basic facts rests not on any quality in the facts themselves, but on an a priori decision of the historian. In spite of C. P. Scott's motto, every journalist knows today that the most effective way to influence opinion is by the selection and arrangement of the appropriate facts. It used to be said that facts speak for themselves. This is, of course, untrue. The facts speak only when the historian calls on them. It is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context. It was, I think, one of Pirandello's characters who said that a fact is like a sack - it won't stand up till you've put something in it.

and a bit further, a more radical stance:
The belief in a hard core of historical facts existing objectively and independently of the interpretation of the historian is a preposterous fallacy, but one which it is very hard to eradicate. 

About the "facts of history" and "facts of the past", check the following quote from the same paragraph:


It is the historian who has decided for his own reasons that Caesar's crossing of that petty stream, the Rubicon, is a fact of history, whereas the crossing of the Rubicon by millions of other people before or since interests nobody at all. The fact that you arrived in this building half an hour ago on foot, or on a bicycle, or in a car, is just as much a fact about the past as the fact that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. But it will probably be ignored by historians.
 
However, even more interesting is in my opinion what he adds in the following paragraphs, because it addresses how these facts get into being and what we can actually know from these facts.

I suspect that even today one of the fascinations of ancient and medieval history is that it gives us the illusion of having all the facts at our disposal within a manageable compass: the nagging distinction between the facts of history and other facts about the past vanishes because the few known facts are all facts of history. As Bury, who had worked in both periods, said, "the records of ancient and medieval history are starred with lacunae". History has been called an enormous jig-saw with a lot of missing parts. But the main trouble does not consist of the lacunae. Our picture of Greece in the fifth century B.C. is defective not primarily because so many of the bits have been accidentally lost, but because it is, by and large, the picture formed by a tiny group of people in the city of Athens. We know a lot about what fifth-century Greece looked like to an Athenian citizen; but hardly anything about what it looked like to a Spartan, a Corinthian, or a Theban - not to mention a Persian, or a slave or other non-citizen resident in Athens. Our picture has been preselected and predetermined for us, not so much by accident as by people who were consciously or unconsciously imbued with a particular view and thought the facts which supported that view worth preserving. In the same way, when I read in a modern history of the Middle Ages that the people of the Middle Ages were deeply concerned with religion, I wonder how we know this, and whether it is true. What we know as the facts of medieval history have almost all been selected for us by generations of chroniclers who were professionally occupied in the theory and practice of religion, and who therefore thought it supremely important, and recorded everything relating to it, and not much else. The picture of the Russian peasant as devoutly religious was destroyed by the revolution of 1917. The picture of medieval man as devoutly religious, whether true or not, is indestructible, because nearly all the known facts about him were preselected for us by people who believed it, and wanted others to believe it, and a mass of other facts, in which we might possibly have found evidence to the contrary, has been lost beyond recall. The dead hand of vanished generations of historians, scribes, and chroniclers has determined beyond the possibility of appeal the pattern of the past. "The history we read", writes Professor Barraclough, himself trained as a medievalist, "though based on facts, is, strictly speaking, not factual at all, but a series of accepted judgments".

and

The nineteenth-century fetishism of facts was completed and justified by a fetishism of documents. The documents were the Ark of the Covenant in the temple of facts. The reverent historian approached them with bowed head and spoke of them in awed tones. If you find it in the documents, it is so. But what, when we get down to it, do these documents - the decrees, the treaties, the rent-rolls, the blue books, the official correspondence, the private letters and diaries - tell us? No document can tell us more than what the author of the document thought - what he thought had happened, what he thought ought to happen or would happen, or perhaps only what he wanted others to think he thought, or even only what he himself thought he thought. None of this means anything until the historian has got to work on it and deciphered it. The facts, whether found in documents or not, have still to be processed by the historian before he can make any use of them: the use he makes of them is, if I may put it that way, the processing process.

I admit I am selective to prove a point (what a "historical fact" is to Carr) and after reading the entire book, Carr may not seem so relativist as these quotes might suggest.



Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 26-Apr-2009 at 22:33
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 
However, getting back on topic, I note that no-one has actually said that they agree with the 'postmodernist' position that there is something new or significant about noticing that people's views are influenced by their metanarratives, the contexts they develop in (in particular in the description and analysis of historical events.
 
The idea postmernism is stating the bloody obvious only using poncy new words to do it so it seems trendy is a view I've long held.
 
However to make this observation, the bloody obvious bit particularly, sort of implies I agree with the analysis.
 
From your statement above do I imply you think the same?


-------------
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk - http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk - http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 27-Apr-2009 at 10:41
Paul,
 
Pretty well spot on. Smile


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



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