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7/15/2012 8:11:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
While undoubtedly history tends to have empiricist undertones no matter the historian, I'm interested to the extent that people on DDO utilise empiricism when evaluating history, or what other schools of thought people utilise.

Some prominent schools of thought (drawn from The Houses of History; chapter titles):

The Empiricists
Marxist Historians
Freud and psychohistory
The Annales [haven't read past here myself]
Historical sociology
Quantitative history
Anthropology and ethnohistorians
The question of narrative
Oral history
Gender and history
Postcolonial perspectives
The challenge of postructuralism / postmodernism

Obviously, one can subscribe to elements of various schools. For instance, one might take the empiricist school of thought as a foundation yet add to it with quanititative history (which in turn is somewhat similar to the Annales school of thought) . Or, one might draw parallels between Marxist historians and historical sociology.

In esssence, I'm interested in hearing people on DDO comment about historiography, and your views.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
Posts: 11,682
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7/15/2012 8:24:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I take some elements of Marxist history to be correct with others being deficient. For instance, I agree with the whole dialectical process and economic conditions as base drivers of society (more specifically internal conflicts represented by classes). But I think Marx's predictions were rather faulty. Not only is his prediction of the organization with which revolution would take place analytically faulty (in that it conceives of the State as purely an economic institution, failing to take into account that power structures don't cease to exist in socialism) but it's empirically falsified as well. The whole State-socialist transition period is simply wrong. But I wouldn't discount the rest of Marxist historiography for this like Marxism's opponents do. The problem is the prediction of the future, not the patterns and laws observed from the past.
Posts: 22,357
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7/16/2012 7:04:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm more interested in the distinction between "fact-based" history and "interpretation-based" history. I think objective facts do exist, but that they are interpreted in different ways by different people. Apparently this is a conservative way of analyzing history? LOL