Re: A question of style
Iīll start by apologising for the thread drift.
You said this:
"Appealing to history is appealing to data. Of course, if you feel data contradicts your hypothesis you can discard the data instead of the hypothesis. You are not going to be the first in doing that."
I find the discussion interresting, including your funny and striking observations, but in my view your statement above evades the subject since historical data is useless without a hypothesis and vice versa. Historians repeatedly collect data and itīs in the consistency of their discoveries within the collected data and the analysis of those discoveries that the hypothesis can emerge, in this respect there is no such thing as historical proof. History is flawed by inconsistencies in data collection and data interpretation as well as data representation.
History also inherently excludes wast amounts of data, that is data that is forbidden, abandoned, forgotten, unobserved, excluded, misinterpreted, rediscovered/reinvented in a new form and meaning or othervise lost in eternity.
I donīt think historians are generally concerned with absolute, specific proof of concept throughout their daily research even I might be wrong.
I think historians are or at least should, to some extent, be concerned with the general history of the human being and human behaviour.
So to sum up, in my view, history doesnīt prove anything apart from the obvious.
Last edited by lars beyer : 07-19-2014 at 06:06 PM.