"A historian must combine the rigor of a scientist with the imagination of the artist." To what extend, then, can the historian be confident about his or her conclusions?
History has always been a subject that is looked upon by many as a very controversial and biased one. In History people can have disagreements. One historian can believe that an event in the past happened in a certain way while another can think it happened differently. This is because history is a matter of interpretation as well as evidence, of judgement as well as knowledge. As a result of this historians must combine the rigor of a scientist with the imagination of an artist, to have the ability to produce a reasonable conclusion. Another historian however can challenge this conclusion. It is impossible to create a conclusion that every historian will agree with. The problem with history, especially as a science, is that cause and effect can not always be clearly explained and understood. A science always evaluates the evidence in a certain way that everyone can agree with. Science does not leave any other possibilities open. There is always one answer in the end of why something happened. Cause and effect can be explained in a way that everyone has to agree with based on the evidence. In History cause and effect can not always be clearly explained and understood. It is open to different possibilities.
In history there are three different ways of knowing according to Mr. Hexter, a professor at Washington University. The first way of knowing is the "Cartesian transformation". This way of knowing stresses systematic mathematical formulation and reasoning resting on the exact measurement of things. Many scientists would certainly approve this method. Historians on the other hand argue it is a mistake to use this way of knowing in history, the study of mankind. Historians unlike Scientists must rely on intuition and creativity of to recreate the events of the past. This is where the...
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