What are the unique and distinct features of the study of history in terms of:

  • Epistemology
  • Purpose
  • Theory
  • Method
  • Methodology

Does the study of history produce unique perceptions?

Does the study of history involve unique practices or outputs?

From the lay persons perspective:

  • how do we know what happened;
  • why do we study it; and,
  • how do we study it?
  • 2
    This should be migrated on meta.
    – user2237
    Commented May 29, 2013 at 17:32
  • 2
    IMHO, this is far too broad to be answered. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 1:12
  • 1
    Do you mean "how do we know what happened" and "why do we study it?" and "how do we study it"?
    – rougon
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 2:40
  • 1
    This question was intended to be a reference question for a tend we were experiencing at the time. @samuelRussel is a brilliant, high rep user.
    – MCW
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 16:19
  • 1
    It's not fit for meta because this isn't about running the stackexchange but the meta perspective on historical documents and their analysis, ie: what is historiography and how does the study of history work Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 1:39

2 Answers 2


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method <<<<<< visit this site is explains all about its methodology

This is the method...

When was the source, written or unwritten, produced (date)?

Where was it produced (localization)?

By whom was it produced (authorship)?

From what pre-existing material was it produced (analysis)?

In what original form was it produced (integrity)?

What is the evidential value of its contents (credibility)?


Well, let' s primarily examine the Epistemological side to the study of History.

Exactly how history is interpreted and subsequently recorded, is at the center of Historical study, in particular, Historiography. One, for example, cannot ultimately know about the historical truth unless there is a meticulous approach towards evidence gathering. Whether the evidence is textually based, map based or architecturally based, the historical process, but more importantly, the historical study, cannot have any legitimacy or credibility unless there is a meticulous provision and presentation of irrefutable facts-(or the compilation of facts with the limited amount of technology and accessibility that any given society has at a certain point in time). The provision and presentation of historical evidence then allows us to gain some aspect of knowledge into a prior time. However, the knowledge that one gains from studying history is by no means an omniscient or universal knowledge, but a fractional knowledge, a partial knowledge and insight into our antecedents and origins-(whether near or distant).

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