A Historian Must Combine the Rigor of a Scientist with the Imaginatio

1605 Words Jan 18th, 2001 7 Pages
"A historian must combine the rigor of a scientist with the imagination of the artist." To what extend, then, can the historian be confident about his or her conclusions? History has always been a subject that is looked upon by many as a very controversial and biased one. In History people can have disagreements. One historian can believe that an event in the past happened in a certain way while another can think it happened differently. This is because history is a matter of interpretation as well as evidence, of judgement as well as knowledge. As a result of this historians must combine the rigor of a scientist with the imagination of an artist, to have the ability to produce a reasonable conclusion. Another historian however can …show more content…
There is an infinite number of variables that influence the outcomes in history. The cause and effect theory is impossible to apply to historical events. Every single atom could be responsible for the way things happen and if an important variable is changed the event would not be the same anymore. For example if Hitler would have not been such a great speaker, chances are that he would have not been able to gain so much power and therefor set off World War Two. Also, if Hitler's mother did not run into Hitler's father by some coincidence (if she would have decided to go to a different place at a certain time), they would have not met the day they did, and would not have had sexual intercourse the day they did, and therefor would not have produced a son, in this case Hitler. Alone from this example one can see how many tiny things affect the effect history. This proves that a historian has to use his imagination as an artist to make a prediction about past events to be able to say that it was probable that an event occurred in a certain way as predicted by a historian based on the evidence and judgement used. A historian must have the ability to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources and put different pieces of evidence together to come up with a conclusion. The problem with history is that it is biased. It is difficult if not impossible to form a conclusion with no emotions

Related Documents