Discuss the roles of language and reason in history.
History as the area of knowledge is virtually indivisible from language and reasoning. Language is one of the most potent means of interpreting and reporting historical information that is derived from the sources pertinent to the events and occurrences. The sources themselves, in their turn, are frequently presented by the written documents, recorded anecdotal experiences, and works of art, archeology, anthropology and photography which, yet again, are interpreted through the language in conjunction with the context of a historical event. It appears to be an endless loop, where language is the alpha and omega, the main vehicle of conveying history. However, to arrive to the valid interpretation of a certain historical event or development, historians frequently use reasoning to connect the factual data of the tangible sources since the latter ones often come in the form of fragments, related to a particular aspect of the happening. Ideally, reasoning, applied to the interpretation of historical data, should be impersonal, unaffected by predominant views and opinions and completely untainted by political agenda. Yet, it is hard to imagine that throughout the centuries those who held power would willingly allow the contemporary historians relate to the masses the adequate information on the details of their governing techniques and actions. As Winston Churchill pointed out, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Therefore, it is up to an individual to interpret the language, deduce information through applying reasoning, incorporate other areas of knowledge such as science, sociology, psychology and arrive to conclusions in attempts to comprehend historical developments in question.
It is important to point out that we frequently perceive historical events as they are presented by those...
References: and works cited:
1. Joseph, Peter. 2007. Zeitgeist. Online. Accessed: Dec 21, 2010. www.zeitgeistmovie.com.
2. Le Bon, Gustave. 1841-1931. The Crowd: A study of the Popular Mind. 1841-1931. Translation: Psychologie des foules. Cherokee Publishing Company. Atlanta, Georgia. 1982. Pg. 100
3. The International Campaign for Real History. Hitler’s Last Illness. Online. Accessed: Dec 23, 2010. www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/docs/Parkinsonism/VancouverSun170599.html
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