Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Historiography, Ideology, Bias
Created by John Eipper on 09/18/19 3:06 PM

Previous posts in this discussion:

Post

Historiography, Ideology, Bias (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela, 09/18/19 3:06 pm)

I fully agree with Ángel Viñas's statement (September 18th) that "history writing is influenced by ideology," and consequently it is not always possible for historians to analyze and interpret historical facts, documents and testimonies in an objective way. However, it must be added that any historian is influenced and intellectually biased regarding what they want to believe, need or are forced to believe, by their motivations and emotions, subjective perceptions, prejudices, ethical-moral principles, and politically biased ideas. "No historian writes like a mollusk"; I like this metaphor.

Furthermore, their interpretation is to a great extent supported by speculation, because it is materially impossible to know all the facts, background and witnesses' perceptions around a historical event. This would apply to testimonies, as well as to "official" or personal documents which can be suspected to be biased and incomplete.

This does not mean that historians' work should be discredited. They do a difficult and many times splendid job. It is hard enough to ask historians for full objectivity. As Ángel says, "Facts are uncovered or discovered. They don't lie around. Any historical construction is temporary, because it can be superseded by new facts or new interpretations. There is no definitive history."

Historians should always be humble and admit the limitations and incompleteness of their conclusions. Professional arrogance in one's work as the final-only-true, is not a desirable or virtuous feature in historians.

In principle, this personal burden should not necessarily disqualify a historian's work, and I mean any historian from whatever ideology. As our brilliant editor once said, "The most honest approach is to state explicitly one's (historians) political (ideological) beliefs" when the historical work is presented.

JE comments:  Nacho, I am humbled by your adjective--and certainly relieved you wrote "our brilliant editor once said," and not "our once-brilliant editor said..."

A question for the WAISitudes:  have you ever been dazzled, impressed, or even convinced by a historian whose ideology you abhor? I wouldn't say I exactly "abhor" the ideology of A. J. P. Taylor, but he is way too sympathetic towards Hitler.  Still, I will acknowledge his brilliance (Taylor's, not Hitler's).


SHARE:
Rate this post
Informational value 
Insight 
Fairness 
Reader Ratings (0)
0%
Informational value0%
Insight0%
Fairness0%

Visits: 135

Comments/Replies

Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now



All Forums with Published Content (41964 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications

Economics

Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy

Education

Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series

History

Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust

Nations

Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire

Politics

Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 Violence War War Crimes Within the US

Religion

Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)

Travel

Geography Maps Tourism Transportation

WAIS

1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who