Specific-problem method - Theory and methodology of history

Specific-problem method

Specifically, the problem method in history is aimed at studying individual phenomena that characterize certain aspects of the historical process.

Historical facts do not exist separately from each other. They interact, develop into whole phenomena. Highlighting these phenomena, the historian concretizes the subject of research, systematizes the facts and can achieve a deeper understanding of the meaning of the historical process, the driving forces of history.

For example, for some time, there are constant fighting between the armed forces of different countries. Together they form in the phenomenon - the war between these countries. War is a political, economic, cultural, military-technical problem both for the history of relations between these countries, and for their internal history. Considering the phenomenon of war as a historical problem, the historian organizes and systematizes the material: determines the chronological framework of the war, its causes, stages, main battles, results and significance. Many wars, especially in antiquity and the Middle Ages, in fact were constructed by historians and contemporaries were perceived differently.

As an example, we can cite the well-known Hundred Years War of England and France. It is known to break up into a number of conflicts: the Edwardian War (1337-1360), the Carolingian War (1369-1396), the Lancaster War (1415-1428). The fighting continued until 1453, and no formal agreement was reached to end the war. In addition, in this chronological period there are still a number of local conflicts. According to NI Basovskaya, "The Hundred Years' War is the traditional name for a long military and political conflict between the English and French kingdoms in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In a sense, this war was invented by historians in the nineteenth century, putting into circulation the very expression and defining the chronological framework, which for 16 years more than a century. However, people who lived in Europe between 1337 and 1453 did not at all suspect that they were living in the age of the Hundred Years War. " .

The historian's goal is to understand the meaning of history. And the meaning can not be comprehended by simply establishing, reconstructing the facts. The task of the historian's research work is to organize these facts into a definite explanatory system. Facts do not exist by themselves, but should point to trends, processes, phenomena, illustrate them with their own examples.

The application of a specific problem method is the systematization of facts as indicators of various manifestations of the historical process.

To systemize the facts, a system approach is applied.

The objective basis for the wide dissemination of the systemic approach and system analysis is that natural and social reality does not consist of isolated and isolated objects, phenomena and processes, but represent aggregates of interrelated and interacting subjects, certain integral, systemic entities. Therefore, the concept of the system is the initial in the system approach and analysis ... The system is such an integral set of elements of reality, the interaction of which causes the emergence of this set of new integrative qualities that are not inherent in the elements forming it " .

For example, each house has its own properties, and several houses form a settlement, a settlement that has its own qualitative characteristics, different from the characteristics of a single house. All systems have their own structure (consisting of subsystems and elements), its structure and its functions. To study them, structural and functional analysis is used.

In the process of system studies, there are certain contradictions (which are called paradoxes of systemic thinking) that need to be overcome. The main ones are the paradox of hierarchy and the paradox of integrity. The paradox of hierarchy is that you can adequately understand this system Only if it is studied as a subsystem of a wider system. But, on the other hand, in order to understand this system as a subsystem of a wider system, it is necessary to know what the given system is as such. The paradox of wholeness lies in the fact that for an adequate knowledge of the system as a whole, knowledge about the elements that make up it is necessary. And in order to effectively study the elements of the system, one must know the properties of the system as a whole. These contradictions of system analysis are not solvable logically, and the way to overcome them - in the infinite deepening of knowledge about the system .

A systematic approach allows us to group individual phenomena and highlight problems in their existence and development.

What problems does the historian study? These are:

proper research problems. This is the characteristics of the sources, their dating, the definition of the degree of representativeness, the degree of data verification, the rationale for choosing a research method, etc.

global historical issues. There are three large blocks in them:

1) establishing the causes of historical events, phenomena, trends, processes;

2) the definition of their essence, their characteristics;

3) revealing their results and consequences, that is, places in history; historical problems in the directions. In historical studies, there are:

1) social;

2) political;

3) economic;

4) historical and demographic;

5) cultural;

6) Religious;

7) the military;

8) historical and anthropological and other problems;

problems of a particular historical plot. The study of any historical story is done with two main objectives:

1) reconstruct the event series, the facts associated with this story;

2) determine the causes and consequences of the development of this historical plot, its meaning, place in history, give a description. The second goal is achieved through the use of a specific problem method.

Specific problem studies primarily use historical and logical methods.

With this, two types of research problems can be solved. First, it is a synchronous study of various objects, primarily representing certain social systems. In this case, the research tasks can be reduced to either an analysis of the structure and functions of these systems without regard to historical development, or to explaining them through the history of systems. Secondly, it is the study of changes in objects over time, i.e. study their development. Here the task can consist either in analyzing the history of an object, regardless of its structure and functions, or in explaining the history of an object through its structure and functions. Thus, logical and historical methods can act both in pure form and in unity, in which the leading role will be played by one of them .

In addition, cause-and-effect , situational and dynamic strong> types of analysis.

The scale and significance of historical research is determined by the scientific problems posed in them.

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