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Is there any value in E.H. Carr's dictum: 'before you study the history, study the historian' - Essay Example

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E.H. Carr's dictum: 'before you study the history, study the historian' describes that the facts of history do not come to the readers as intact as it could be because they do not exist in "pure" form, they always come with the interpretation of the user of facts (Tosh 2006)…
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Is there any value in E.H. Carrs dictum: before you study the history, study the historian
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Extract of sample "Is there any value in E.H. Carr's dictum: 'before you study the history, study the historian'"

Download file to see previous pages He traced his family background through the great Whig historian, George Otto Trevelyan and by doing so he investigated the origin and development of the Whig tradition. And even though it is not the only interpretation of Queen Anne's reign, it is a valid and, in Trevelyan's hands, a fruitful interpretation (Trevelyan 1949).
Thus to appreciate significance of a history, the reader should know and understand what the historian is doing. Collingwood (1994) states that historians must re-enact in thought what has gone on in the mind of his dramatis personae, so the reader will also re-enact what goes on in the mind of the historian. Thus reading a work of history should be coupled with listening to what is 'bubbly'. If one cannot detect something, there is something wrong with how the history was understood or how it was presented. The facts here were treated like fishes swimming in a vast ocean which is sometimes inaccessible to anyone. What the historian catches will depend partly on chance. His choices on what part of the ocean to fish and what equipment to use will depend on the kind of fish he wants to catch. By that, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. Thus, history means the interpretation of the historian (Carr 1961).
Another example of how the philosophy of British historian E. H. ...
it was the image of his father which dominated and obsessed his being . . - and even the icy detachment and indifference of Lord Randolph failed to destroy the proud and passionate allegiance of his sonUntil the end he worshipped at the altar of his Unknown Father. (Carter 1965)
It was seen in his writings that Winston Churchill provides a considerable evidence of filial hero-worship. In Thoughts and Adventures, he writes that: the greatest and most powerful influence in my early life was of course my father. . . .1 conceived an intense admiration and affection for him - and, after his death, for his memory, I read industriously almost every word he had ever spoken and learnt by heart large portions of his speeches. Indeed, the workings of Winston Churchill about his father, Randolph could be best understood in this context.
The views of Collingwood on the philosophy of history could expound more the E. H. Carr's dictum. It was told that the history is neither "the past by itself" nor with "the historian's thought about it by itself," but both in their mutual relations. This reflects the two current meanings of the word "history" - the enquiry conducted by the historian and the series of past events into which he enquires. Collingwood argued that the past is meaningless to the historian unless he can understand the thought underlying it. Thus, it could be said that "all history is the history of thought," and "history is the re-enactment in the historian's mind of the thought whose history he is studying." According to Professor Oakeshott, whose point stands near to Collingwood, "history is the historian's experience (Oakeshott 1933).
Carr's dictum mirrored his stance on relativism. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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