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Scientific History vs postmodern history

Stephen_Hawkins
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11/1/2012 7:06:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
What are the general arguments?
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Stephen_Hawkins
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11/1/2012 7:12:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
To be more specific, scientific history says study the primary sources the hardest, while postmodern says there is no real difference between primary and secondary sources.
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Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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11/2/2012 1:30:38 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'll be brief, since I'm but the dilettante on this issue.

Any school of historical thought has some manner of empirical foundation - we can't conduct history without some manner of primary source or knowledge. In this sense the scientific school has some merit.

However, secondary sources have merit, presuming a suitable number of primary sources exist. Indeed, various approaches such as a focus on quantitative history really aren't possibly without some sort of collection of primary data, which invariably comes from a primary source. In this sense I agree with postmodernism (or at least, your description of it, I was halfway through a university text on schools of historical thought before being forced to return it; haven't read about postmodernism) , although it somewhat undervalues the necessity of primary sources.

My apologies if that barely scratches the surface of the topic.
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