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Scientific History vs postmodern history

11/1/2012 7:06:38 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
What are the general arguments?
11/1/2012 7:12:52 AM
Posted: 7 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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11/2/2012 1:30:38 AM
Posted: 7 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.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it

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