Lecture 1.1307

Lecture 1.1307 - WHAT DOES A HISTORIAN DO? (An Introduction...

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WHAT DOES A HISTORIAN DO? (An Introduction to the Course) Introduction: Difficulties 1. The problem of looking at history from ‘my’ perspective - The United States or the West (for most in the class) - World history becomes ‘US history plus’ or ‘Western history plus’ 2. Knowing the basic facts in order to do the (broad) analyses and interpretation - What is the minimum that one must know in order to talk/discuss trends intelligently? - There is a great deal of history in five hundred years! Just the Facts? (Or, the World of the Historian) 1. The significance of a fact is crucial - Facts must be collated/collected and organized - Otherwise there’s too much information - Some facts are more important than others… 2. Facts must be interpreted: historians give facts significance - What criteria should be used? 3. In the study of history, we try to understand ourselves and others 4. In the study of history, we try to make sense of the world - Thus history is like other disciplines such as religion and philosophy
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Lecture 1.1307 - WHAT DOES A HISTORIAN DO? (An Introduction...

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