Rook's Nook 1: Question for Listeners

Rook_Hawkins
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Rook's Nook 1: Question for Listeners

So we're getting ready to record the first episode of Rook's Nook - a high brow intellectual show on history and ancient texts.  So I figured I should ask you, those who would tune in to the show, (1) what do you think History is, and conversely, (2) what History isn't?

 Well, what do you think?  You can also include some of your favorite historians, and why you feel they're your favorite. 

 

 

 

 

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Mjhavok
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History in the scholarly

History in the scholarly sense? It encompases a lot. WWII is history but so is the politics of ancient Rome. The history of science, history of art, history of history lol.

History is written by the victor? I wish it was written by the honest but alas it is not always the case. History scholars should be objective and not allow personal bias to enter their thinking or to limit it as much as possible.


History in the temporal sense? Everything that came before what we call the present.

"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. "
- Carl Sagan

"Tantum eruditi sunt liberi"

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I usually prefer to

I usually prefer to research a matter before responding, but I will respond off the cuff to get things going. 

 

I consider history to be a primitive science - we are only at the description stage. There is no predictive history yet.

As a descriptive science, history attempts to reduce bias in order to tell the story of various peoples and events.  At the same time, seeing as history involves people, it is also part psychology, ergo, attempts to eradicate bias are impossible....  intentions, desires, emotions, are factors that that make turning history into a more complete science more than just difficult.

History must also consider post modernistic criticisms: history is often a history of a specific people, over the history of other peoples....

 History, like all sciences, is also more than a body of knowledge, it is also a method.... i won't delve into historiography here, however....

As for my preference in doing history, I prefer to focus on the Famous Person viewpoint, which sees history as having a focal point in specific important people.... but there are other methods, in fact, I believe the more modern approach is to look at common people to learn about lives of the majority....

 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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KoRnYAtheist
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I just want to wish you luck

I just want to wish you luck with your Nook show.  Smiling


Gnophilist
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Is history science? Why or

Is history science? Why or why not?


AaronZZZ
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GOD DAMMIT...Hehe.... I

GOD DAMMIT...Hehe.... I missed it i had to work tonight.... I hope the show went well Rook.... Will it be available to download to members at all?

Mr. Triple Z


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Grrr... See post below!

Grrr...

See post below!


An_Atheist
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I see history as one long

My apologies, i thought that it hadn't sent before lol!!


An_Atheist
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I see history as one long

I see history as one long story with different chapters and topics.    From war, to music, Religion, Philosophy and Mythology.
I have no clue as to whom my favourite Histornian is but i greatly appreciate all the work that they do in order to try telling us the true story rather than mistaking it for the mythology that so many people tend to do.
Anything in the past is History, everything is relevant.  
Of course much of our history is very much a mystery, such as that of the Pictish people in North Scotland, or the Celtic people in general are a very mysterious people whilst others are less mysterious.  
But in today's society, there are still reflections of the Pagan culture that was common pace B.C.E, we are a product of many periods throughout history.
An example being that of Ireland, which is largelly Christian, yet also still has many aspects of it's Celtic Pagan past.  Without each historical episode, it would not be possible to progress on to the next 'AGE' basically what i am saying is that history is an evolutionary process.
Histroy is what shapes the future!!

Your mind will take you far, the rest is just your heart, you'l find that fate is all your own creation.


aiia
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(1) History is - A

(1) History is - A collection of factually verified data of past events.

 

(2) History isn't - A collection of unverified emotionally based appealing stories.

 

To make another distinction,  a collection of factually based data of past events can be an emotionally appealing story. 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


The Patrician
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History is both a curse and

History is both a curse and a blessing as the old adage that "history is written by the victors" is undoubtedly true. In addition, a lot of historical documents are somewhat fanciful in nature as the authors tended to colour them up a bit - Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae is a good example of this. It's bugger all use as a historical text yet its literary style gives a fascinating insight into the times Monmouth lived in.

Of course, there are considerably more valid histories than this although any general history is always going to have a heresay factor in it. The most precise histories are probably the mundane writings of citizens of former cultures - Pepys diaries, Pliny the Elder and Younger's works, Boswell's accounts of Johnson's travels, etc.

 

So, in summary:

History is: A subjective interpretation of events written or compiled by an individual or individuals without embellishment and in which the events described can be substantiated.

History isn't: Fanciful semi mythical and, worst of all, unsubstantiated writings.

My favourite historians are probably Pepys and Boswell although I'm not sure they would have described themselves as such.

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This is great to me.  I'm

This is great to me.  I'm starting a class on History on Tuesday, here are some details (not all posted yet): http://www.rationalresponders.com/introduction_to_classical_and_modern_history_rook_hawkins 

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I think fundamentally, as

I think fundamentally, as other have said, history is factual information about the past, but, I think this information will always be interpreted subjectively, and with bias.

I’m mainly interested the interpretation of history (the psychological elements).

I think it is impossible to not be bias. People tend to drive towards that which affirms their views and beliefs, while rejecting that which disconfirms them. Admitting your wrong is a difficult process. So the key is to limit ones bias… to consider alternative views. That is what I think is meant when people say they are ‘not bias.’

With regards to analysing history there are clearly two distinct methods…

For example, analysing an event or behaviour from the context of the time in which it originally happened… or, analysing it from the context of the time in which it is being analysed. This obviously has to be acknowledged. I think it plays a part of how we learn as a civilisation... how things were done or believed, and when it comes to bad things, how not to repeat them etc.

This is clearly seen in religion, where I think it play a role in distinguishing between moderation and fundamentalism. Moderates acknowledge the context of certain parts of scripture, then interpret the context (sometimes even unconsciously I think) to today’s insights/moral zeitgeist (i.e. diluting the content or just ignoring it).

Radicals/fundamentalists however transport the original context into the modern world. They transport views/behaviours that were not abnormal in there time, into the 20th/21st centuries where they are abnormal. In other words, take a crazy fundamentalist back a few hundred or thousand years and there no going to be considered crazy (in fact we would be!).



Moving on… What is the format of the show? Is it general history, or more specific topics?

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan