View Poll Results: What is History to you? (select all applicable)

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  • A collection of events.

    12 46.15%
  • A collection of texts.

    5 19.23%
  • A collection with a recognisable order to it.

    7 26.92%
  • A collection with no recognisable order to it.

    3 11.54%
  • Other (explain)

    9 34.62%
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Thread: What is History?

  1. #21
    The Plesioth Hip Check of life Deathhappens's Avatar
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    "A collection of events" is technically accurate, but it's an extremely reductive description. On reflection, I think "all of the above" might be the closest form- a collection of events, chronicled by texts or other forms of retention (oral tradition et al), typically in a recogniseable order of cause and effect but often without one or at least without a commonly agreed-upon one.
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  2. #22
    Time Lego Toa of Gallifrey's Avatar
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    To me, divorced from any implications or context, history is just a collection of events. Normally I'd specify past events, but I'm not against categorizing present events as history.
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  3. #23
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    I don't want to bring too much of my professional bias into it, but I can't ever accept simply "past events" as what constructs History. A collection of things that have happened in the past isn't History - it's a chronicle, and we have plenty of those. That's the meaning of R.G. Collingwood's quote above: names, dates, places, and so on that you get drilled into your head in school aren't history. History, to me (and lots of other people this isn't an original idea), is an interpretation of the past through evidence and asking questions. Those questions, and how we ask them, naturally change over time. There is no "end state" to the study of history, so while its methodology can resemble science, there's no sense of accumulating certain knowledge over time beyond more evidence.

    I'd cite myself but then I'd feel like a right twat
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  4. #24
    The Plesioth Hip Check of life Deathhappens's Avatar
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    Actually, I think that's more of a semiotic issue that arises from the fact that "History is the science of studying History".
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  5. #25
    Drunk Anime Is The True Path. Mattias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    I don't want to bring too much of my professional bias into it, but I can't ever accept simply "past events" as what constructs History. A collection of things that have happened in the past isn't History - it's a chronicle, and we have plenty of those. That's the meaning of R.G. Collingwood's quote above: names, dates, places, and so on that you get drilled into your head in school aren't history. History, to me (and lots of other people this isn't an original idea), is an interpretation of the past through evidence and asking questions. Those questions, and how we ask them, naturally change over time. There is no "end state" to the study of history, so while its methodology can resemble science, there's no sense of accumulating certain knowledge over time beyond more evidence.

    I'd cite myself but then I'd feel like a right twat
    I say both are still History, only the later is an engaging form and the former is how you cram the data you need to pass a test to spoof the government into thinking you did the other.

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  6. #26
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Tosh, "The Pursuit of History"
    But history is more than a collection of snapshots of the past, however vivid and richly contextualized. A third fundamental aspect of historical awareness is the recognition of historical process – the relationship between events over time which endows them with more significance than if they were viewed in isolation.
    "History" =/= "the past"

    Think less of the noun history, more towards its etymological root verb: ἱστορέω. Inquiry, questioning, conversation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    To put it into a concrete context, go all the way back to the Father of History, as we know him: Herodotus' Histories; except instead of translating "Ἱστορίαι" as "Histories," look at it as "Herodotus' Inquiries" (as the opening sentence itself says, using the same word in the original Greek).
    Last edited by Five_X; March 3rd, 2019 at 01:07 AM.
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  7. #27
    celestial prayer 34's Avatar
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    the virgin herodotus vs the chad plutarch

  8. #28
    Dead Apostle Eater Historia's Avatar
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    A collection with no recognisable order to it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    hrmmm

  9. #29
    It reminds you of innocence and smells like me. Prix with a Silent X's Avatar
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    A collection of texts which reflects, based on research, recollection, or contemporaneous account, a collection of events.
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  10. #30
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prix with a Silent X View Post
    A collection of texts which reflects, based on research, recollection, or contemporaneous account, a collection of events.
    But then, aren't you just thinking of history as a scholarly discipline?
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  11. #31
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six forumghost's Avatar
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    History:

    1) Something that people seem adamant that they won't learn from, and are thus doomed to repeat.

    2) Something that I hope will be deleted from my browser immediately after my death.

  12. #32
    The Plesioth Hip Check of life Deathhappens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 34 View Post
    the virgin herodotus vs the chad plutarch
    *Thucydides
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  13. #33
    DIĒS VENIET ITERVM Walnut Sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    "History" =/= "the past"

    Think less of the noun history, more towards its etymological root verb: ἱστορέω. Inquiry, questioning, conversation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    To put it into a concrete context, go all the way back to the Father of History, as we know him: Herodotus' Histories; except instead of translating "Ἱστορίαι" as "Histories," look at it as "Herodotus' Inquiries" (as the opening sentence itself says, using the same word in the original Greek).
    I like this answer, but I'm also a little uneasy about it. How would you regard records like royal chronicles and proclamations that may not have that investigatory nature? Would ancient regions where such things are all we have to go by be, for lack of a better word, prehistoric? I'm not trying to argue with you, it's just something that's bothered me for a long time.
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  14. #34
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walnut Sparks View Post
    I like this answer, but I'm also a little uneasy about it. How would you regard records like royal chronicles and proclamations that may not have that investigatory nature? Would ancient regions where such things are all we have to go by be, for lack of a better word, prehistoric? I'm not trying to argue with you, it's just something that's bothered me for a long time.
    You said it yourself: records, chronicles; beyond that archaeological discoveries and even in some cases the land on which humans have lived. They're human attestations, in written or object form, of the past and of which we can ask questions and make inferences. In his explanation of history as a science of inference, it's what R.G. Collingwood calls "testimony" or more broadly, historical evidence.
    Quote Originally Posted by R.G. Collingwood, "The Idea of History"
    In scientific history anything is evidence which is used as evidence, and no one can know what is going to be useful as evidence until he has had occasion to use it. [...] You can't collect your evidence before you begin thinking, [Poirot] meant : because thinking means asking questions (logicians, please note), and nothing is evidence except in relation to some definite question.
    https://brocku.ca/MeadProject/Collingwood/1946_3.html

    If the past exists in texts, then the past as examined by historians is limited to societies and time periods with writing, which leads to probably clear problems. If the past exists in events, then that would ruffle the feathers particularly of social and cultural historians who are not always studying specific periodised phenomena.
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  15. #35
    not really feeling it tbh Ratman's Avatar
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    A process. You shouldn't assume the meaning of it as you study it, but I assume there is a meaning to it.

    'Collection of events' and 'Collection of texts' seems like a pretty bland description, since I have primarily always collected opinions about history. 'Collection of lessons' seems more apt. I'd much rather have a history lesson from either a commie or a nazi than a history lesson from someone to whom the events mean nothing. Though I might not agree with the teacher's interpretation, understanding that their opinion exists and what it stems from is a huge deal in exploring the human condition. A collection of events happening at dates that the teacher writes on the blackboard for you to remember means nothing, but collection of ideologies throughout the ages and their interactions means everything. It's up to me what I decide to stick with when I've heard it all, which I won't, but god forbid I actually misinterpret what the teacher was trying to teach me.

  16. #36
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    History. His story. The story of, depending on how far you zoom in, a person, a family, a town, a country, a culture, a species, a planet, or the universe.

    Since it's a story, it differs depending on who is telling it, when, to whom, with what purpose, how much information they have available to them, their interpretation of unknowns, their preferred style of storytelling, and the choice of which part of the tapestry to focus on.

  17. #37
    DIĒS VENIET ITERVM Walnut Sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
    A collection of events happening at dates that the teacher writes on the blackboard for you to remember means nothing
    Why is that?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloble View Post
    History. His story.
    Okay please tell me you don't believe this etymology in a literal sense.
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  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    This is a test.

    What is history to you?

    Removed from any specifics - i.e. History as a discipline, something you study at university - but simply the abstract concept of history, 'the past'. What is it to you?
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  19. #39
    屍食鬼 Ghoul hanafubuki's Avatar
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    boring lesson in school owo
    Last edited by hanafubuki; March 14th, 2019 at 03:25 PM.
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  20. #40
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walnut Sparks View Post
    Okay please tell me you don't believe this etymology in a literal sense.
    No. It sounds funny though.

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