Battles for history . History as a problem - History of historical knowledge

Battles for history & quot ;. History as a problem

Statement of the problem - this is the beginning and end of all historical research. Where there are no problems - there is no history, only empty rantings and compilations ... Formula "scientifically conducted research" includes two actions that underlie all modern scientific work: the formulation of problems and the development of hypotheses & quot ;. These are the words LYUCHENA FEBRU (1878-1956), an outstanding French scientist who, with his like-minded people and comrades-in-arms, committed a methodological revolution in history, a man who most sharply described the dramatic nature of the situation in the scientific knowledge of the first half of the 20th century. "From one impulse, the whole idea of ​​the world, worked out over the centuries by generations of scientists, collapsed - the idea of ​​an abstract, generalized world, containing its own explanation ... Old theories needed to be replaced by new ones. It was necessary to reconsider all the scientific concepts on which our worldview was still based ". Fevr understood that to get rid of frustration in history, loss of confidence in it, from the bitter consciousness that engaging in history means wasting time, one can only clearly understand the connection between history and related disciplines and establish a close alliance between them. He advocated cooperation between historians, sociologists and psychologists, because their common goal is to study the human personality. Social psychology applies to the study of the nameless masses of the past, and individual psychology is applied to the actions of the so-called historical figures.

The leading role in overcoming the crisis of historical science was played by French historiography in the person of several generations of historians, the first of which were Febvre and MARK BLOCK (1886-1944), genuine innovators who carried out a landmark coup that returned historical knowledge of the humanistic content that he lost, the interest of the public that returned history, a wide readership attracted by issues closely related to the life of modern society. They stood at the origins of a powerful historiographic direction and a new stage in the development of historical thought: the formulation of new problems, the new reading of old sources, the application of new, non-traditional methods of their study, so in their concise style one can identify their contribution to world historiography.

In 1929 Blok and Fevr founded the scientific magazine "Annals of Social and Economic History" , which since then has more than once modified its name, and therefore it is usually simply called "Annals". In the first issue of the magazine, there was a call for a broader approach to history. A course was taken for an interdisciplinary history and involving representatives of social sciences - economics, sociology, social psychology, etc. - in joint research. "On this interdisciplinary basis, the scientists" schools "Annals" continued to expand and improve the content and methodology of historical science along the lines of a comprehensive total () stories which is the ultimate embodiment of a holistic, synthetic story. Total History It does not pretend to be universal, and can be realized rather on the local scale itself: in the history of an urban or rural parish, a separate locality, and even in a rather limited period of time. This is the story of people and individual human communities, which aims to restore all aspects of their lives and activities in the interweaving of different circumstances and motivations. Historians schools Annals do not divide the life of people into political, economic, religious and other spheres, as it is not divided for each person in his real life. Their research recreates a truly stereoscopic, multilevel and "humanized" a picture of the historical past.

February, in particular, noted: "There is no economic and social history. There is history as such in its entirety. History, which is social by virtue of its very nature ... Man in our understanding is the focus of all his activities; the historian is permitted to treat with special interest one of these species, say, the economic activity. But under one condition: one must not forget that any of these species always affects the whole person ... The subject of our research is not any fragment of reality, not one of the isolated aspects of human activity, but the person himself, viewed against the background of social groups, of which he is a member ... History is the science of man, let's not forget about it. "

So, the subject of research has changed (it has become a man in history) and the historical science itself.

Mark Block in the work Apology of history, or the Craft of historian (1940-1942) emphasized the youth of historical science, the imperfection of its methods, the role of adjacent social sciences in its development as an analytical discipline. Having in mind, in particular, the sociological school of Durkheim, he wrote: "She taught us to analyze more deeply, to limit the problems more strictly, I would say even to think not so simplistic. We will talk about it here only with infinite gratitude and respect. And if today it already seems superior, then this is sooner or later a reckoning for all the mental currents for their fruitfulness. " One of the merits of M. Blok before historical science is that he showed various methods of comparative (historical) approach that he did not replace, which he considered an effective heuristic tool to help solve new research Problems. He himself, relying on this method in the study of the processes of French agrarian history, analogous to the English enclaves, discovered a similar transformation in the Provence of the XV-XVII centuries, which had not previously been noticed by historians. In addition, Mark Blok drew attention to the fact that a comparative method of problem solving can reveal the underlying causes of a phenomenon and thus explain it. Finally, Blok saw in the comparative method a procedure that most clearly shows the specificity of certain seemingly similar processes, a more detailed comparison of which sheds light on the significant differences between them.

Blok and Fevre broke with the traditions of positivist historiography, especially strong in France - in the homeland of Comte. They fought for scientific history against traditional, narrative and erudite historiography, resolutely rejecting the story-story, having developed the concept of a history-problem and having overcome, thus, a simplified event-based approach to the illumination of the historical past. They contrasted the narrative of events with the study of deep layers of historical reality. They sought to find unintentional, involuntary statements in texts of sources, as well as what the authors of historical texts reported in addition to their own will, that "remainder", which was not subjected to internal censorship of the authors of texts. Perfectly defines the scientific position of the motto of February: "The historian is not the one who knows, but the one who is looking for".

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