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Old August 5th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #31

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Of course, we should all realise that the people we would really like to take notice of this thread, won't. Such is life!
They may not even notice that you posted this notice!
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Old August 5th, 2010, 08:57 AM   #32

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Re: History and Historians


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Like all sciences, history is not exact...so you take it as it comes. You may take a stand on an issue, but that doesn't mean its going to be your final stand. A historian may write another book or come out with that same book that has new material (also known as the 2nd edition) based on a reinterpretation of events.
I agree with your response to Rosi. This point is best exemplified by comparing Alan Bullock's interpretation of Hitler at the space of four decades. (I use this example because I know that Rosi has read one of these!)

Compare:
Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, (London, 1952).
with:
Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives, (London, 1991).
In the former, Bullock is a decided intentionalist. By the time he came to write the Hitler and Stalin, he had openly and honestly come around to a measure of structuralism. He was a brilliant historian.


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Are we doomed to never finding the truth? Probably...but coming up with a likely scenario of how things were or how an even turned out is the closest thing we can get to the truth.
Does 'truth' really matter? I always work on the thesis that the question is what matters, not the answer. The art of finding out what you can is the chase, and that's what counts ... for me, at least!
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #33

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Re: History and Historians


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Of course, we should all realise that the people we would really like to take notice of this thread, won't. Such is life!
Ha, so true.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #34
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Re: History and Historians


Excellent post, Black dog, but I don't think I am following a personal agenda when I express doubts about your formulation that, 'Henry VIII ..... founded the Protestant Church of England'. Henry founded no churches - he was a king, not a prophet - and though during his reign the English Church broke with Rome, there were surely no changes in doctrine? It seems to me that - unless one suffers from extreme Roman Catholic prejudice - the historical position is that Henry remained Defender of the same Faith as when the Church was under papal dominance. In his son's reign that Church flirted with Protestantism, turned to an extreme form of Romanism under Mary, then returned to Anglo-Catholicism under Elizabeth, but no new churches were established until the time of the Civil War, if then.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #35

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Re: History and Historians


THIS is useful citation, meat and potatoes: (see post #34)

http://www.historum.com/showthread.p...666#post318666

This is Jell-O (or Jelly to those of the Commonwealth persuasion):

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lollardy"]Lollardy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Jell-O is better than starving, but it is nothing you can live off of.

If members want to stay armchair "authorities", that's their choice. But few are swayed by parasite research, I would think.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #36

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Re: History and Historians


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Originally Posted by avon View Post
Does 'truth' really matter? I always work on the thesis that the question is what matters, not the answer. The art of finding out what you can is the chase, and that's what counts ... for me, at least!
I couldn't agree with you more.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #37

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Re: History and Historians


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Excellent post, Black dog, but I don't think I am following a personal agenda when I express doubts about your formulation that, 'Henry VIII ..... founded the Protestant Church of England'. Henry founded no churches - he was a king, not a prophet - and though during his reign the English Church broke with Rome, there were surely no changes in doctrine? It seems to me that - unless one suffers from extreme Roman Catholic prejudice - the historical position is that Henry remained Defender of the same Faith as when the Church was under papal dominance. In his son's reign that Church flirted with Protestantism, turned to an extreme form of Romanism under Mary, then returned to Anglo-Catholicism under Elizabeth, but no new churches were established until the time of the Civil War, if then.
You're right. You wouldn't be following a personal agenda, but simply adding another interpretation of a historical event.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:19 AM   #38

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Re: History and Historians


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If that criterion were strictly enforced I wonder how many historians would actually see their books published.
Rosicrucian

Very true. The trick is to present ALL of the facts as you know them, all of the arguments/counterarguments, interpretations which could be made, and usually sum up by giving your opinion and why you have that opinion. Journalists don't usually do that, but historians should and some do

Quote:
If you were to keep things completely objective, you would not be able to make any categoric statements, all arguments would appear dilute, your tone would appear non-committal, and your editor would probably ask you: "What is the point of this book?"
- Rosicrucian

Yes, he would, no doubt. But see above. I inherently distrust writing where facts or well known theories have been omitted. By countering the arguments one doesn't like, giving evidence of why, this is surely an opinion. But opinions based on political/cultural/racist/feminist/misogynist/whatever leanings, which almost always ignore "inconvenient" facts, well, these may be interesting to read, but ultimately useless.

Expressing an opinion is fine, but only in a context where one can justify it re: other opinions, theories, schools of thought etc?

Quote:
Of course, we should all realise that the people we would really like to take notice of this thread, won't. Such is life!
Hope springs eternal

Iolo: agreed, Henry did not "found" a new church, true, but if it started anywhere, it started with him and his split with Rome. Ideologically, (theologically, too!), I agree, it had to wait for the Civil War.

I am pleased that this little post of mine has created so much interest for people Thanks to you all.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #39

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Re: History and Historians


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Originally Posted by Black Dog View Post
The trick is to present ALL of the facts as you know them, all of the arguments/counterarguments, interpretations which could be made, and usually sum up by giving your opinion and why you have that opinion. Journalists don't usually do that, but historians should and some do
The problem is that historians cannot present ALL facts but must chose what is important, less so or simply not important. This is where bias tend to come into play. As historians, we have to shift through lots and lots of crap to get to the good stuff.
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Old August 5th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #40
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Re: History and Historians


This is a very interesting topic and a great post Black Dog.

When I am acting in my capacity as an educator I am bound by those rules which speak to citation and research. However, in Historum, I am engaging with a great many people from diverse educational, cultural and societal backgrounds. Indeed, many of us do not even speak the same language.

While I would like to, I cannot hold those that I engage with in Historum to the same standards I would expect from one of my students. It is in that spirit that I try to glean the meaning of what is posted first and if, necessary ask for references. I may get a wiki reference that is fine with me if that backs up what person is saying in addition to a cross reference.

Depending on the topic I am here for good conversation or if it is an advanced historical debate I most definitely want specific solid references not wiki.
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