Discuss the Roles of Language and Reason in History. Essay example

1320 Words Feb 27th, 2013 6 Pages
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
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And here comes the essential aspect: the validity of the statements and projections made by the mentioned authorities. In other words, in search for the truthful perspective of a historical event one needs to remember about the language that is used for such interpretations, the language of power. Truth in history is a dubious concept since any event which involves certain outcomes would be interpreted by a number of experts. The outcomes of the events be it revolutions, wars, or reigns of monarchs and are usually appear in form of facts: toppling of governments, changes in ideologies and laws that societies are to adhere to, development or stagnation of the economy in a given country. These are the facts that are presented in the form of explanations, commentaries, and justifications. And here the language of power might play the crucial role in the way this information is to be perceived. To distinguish the motives behind the language that is used for presenting the event, one needs to look for other sources that interpret the same development, but from a different angle. For instance, the attack on the World Trade Center, New York City, in 2001 is vastly believed to be executed by the group of terrorists known as Al-Qaeda, and hence perceived as “the terrorist attack”. The mass media of the entire world presented the fact that over 2,700

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