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I come to the conclusion that world history and history of any country, history of wars is NEVER OBJECTIVE!

HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY WINNERS ! is a well known expression...

also, history is written by every king and in his favour.

for example, the ancient emperor of China Qin Shihuan di burned down all books written about history of china before him. he wanted to be the first official ruler of china.

so as there are many diff. viewpoints of every historian scientist, as there are many views on major historical events

we can derive that no OBJECTIVE HISTORY exists, hence history is not a science at all!

do you agree with me? am i right ? i mean, clearly there is no absolutely objective view of relations, because the stronger country will not allow "bad" books published!

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closed as not constructive by Steven Drennon Apr 22 '13 at 3:42

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This previous thread may be of interest to you: Is history always written by the victors? –  Drux Apr 22 '13 at 5:07

1 Answer 1

The question is wrong in a number of major respects.

Prior to the Rankean transformation of historiography, "history" as we know it was not written at all. Prior to Ranke, and his contemporaries, people wrote largely fanciful reports of the past, drawn from documentary records and beliefs (such as the "Whig" interpretation of history) that lay outside of what could be drawn with reasonable inference from scholarly theory combined with close textual reading with faith to the reported behaviours of those living in the past. "Historians" made stuff up prior to Ranke. None of these pre-modern works meet the interpretive standards that we know as "history," and holding them to our standards would itself be an anachronism, one of the "sins" of historical interpretation for the modern disciplinary historian.

After Ranke, history became that which historians as a disciplinary group of Westerners, drawn from the elite, did not disdain. This was modified by changes in technique of interpretation and attention to new source sets or interpretive perspectives. However, since Ranke, history has been a scholarly discipline and history has been written by historians.

Whether this makes History a "science" or not is another matter. The hardest sciences solidified as exclusionary practices during the 19th century, the same period in which historiography solidified as an exclusionary practice. Both claim to produce truthful knowledge about empirical reality. The practice of science makes claims about experiment or critical observation as verification; most of which were shown to be more complex than thought by philosophers of science. The practice of history makes claims about critical reading of texts and speech as verification; many of which have been shown to be more complex than thought by historians of ideas, linguists, and philosophers.

clearly there is no absolutely objective view of relations, because the stronger country will not allow "bad" books published!

In modernity "bad" books are regularly published, smuggled and read. It is prohibitively difficult to prevent the creation, dissemination and acceptance of bad books, even in "totalitarian" societies in modernity. Moreover, it has been found to be useful to let historians write "bad" books, and then argue about them, in most advanced capitalist societies.

While the idea of "objectivity" in general may be suspect, the idea of a strong consensus of scholarly opinion in the free scholarly press that is subject to review is more defensible. To the best knowledge of historians as scholars, certain things appear to be the least worst current understanding.

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Your answer deserves a better question. Since the question was closed, I think you should go ahead and edit it to make it fit your answer in every aspect (subject, tone, grammar, even formatting - the obnoxious bolding doesn't help). –  Yannis Rizos Apr 22 '13 at 7:10
@YannisRizos - while the answer is good from "history" point of view, it contains one major weakness - it discusses comparing history to science, but lacks any mention of a concept of testable predictions which is the main difference between "science" and "study". –  DVK Apr 22 '13 at 17:14
@DVK see Feyerabend. There is no "essentialism" in science. –  Samuel Russell Apr 22 '13 at 20:55
Then... rewrite the question to make it re-open worthy @DVK, and then post a better answer. –  Yannis Rizos Apr 23 '13 at 2:24
@YannisRizos - I don't think there's much to add to this one aside from my point, which isn't worth a separate answer. –  DVK Apr 23 '13 at 3:05

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