Can History Be Objective?

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,871
T'Republic of Yorkshire
When the post modernist historians say that academic history is merely subjective, and 'just as ideological and positioned/positioning as any other...', they are re-presenting their idea that, 'academic history is arguably part of a 'reactive' capitalists/bourgeois culture...'
Tell me, what exactly is a post modernist historian?
 

fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,460
Just stick to the facts. If I say "Human beings have inhabited the British mainland for at least 2000 years", that is an objective historical statement isn't it?
 
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Sep 2015
1,813
England
No I would not. I want you to answer the question, and not be evasive. It's not difficult if you know what it means.
All i'm asking for is clarification how you are saying that. There's "Tell me" in conversion, or there's "Tell me" in an interrogation. Your request is ambivalent.

And again, anyone can look up anything, like "post modernists" over the internet.
What have you found? What is your thinking as to people involved?
They could be just a bunch of names from an area of academia.
I have nonetheless Michael Foucault, Zadie Smith and Doris Lessing featuring on my screen.

Also the post modernists might tend to follow postmodernism, so a search for that might enlighten?
Here is the wiki page: Postmodernism - Wikipedia
which doesn't seem to have changed much since the last time i looked.

And i quote, '..common targets of postmodern critique include universalist notions of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, language, and social progress.'

and that therefore 'it's all relative' you might think?
 
Last edited:
May 2019
253
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hello all,

I've just watched the following vid:
It argues that there is objectivity to be found in historical research but that truth ultimately is agreed upon.

During my studies the word "objectivity" was always a kinda hot topic, but many of my professors avoided the term.
Do you think objectivity can be achieved at all in historical research or are we doomed to read history subjectively?
Historians try to objective to the sources and the narratives they elicit, but I have found that confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and the willingness to complete ignore critical thinking principles lead to very subjective history writing.

Follow the writings of different factions of historians interested in the intersection of Mormonism and the American west, and you will find significant difference while all sides insist they are objective.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,652
Sydney
Ask a question and get ten questions back !
history has several levels , the main one is the existing records and material evidence
the rest is disputation or literature

It's even worst for pre-history , truckloads of books have been written on very few bones