GDG- Killing Lincoln
CWMHTours at aol.com
CWMHTours at aol.com
Sun Jan 15 21:21:26 CST 2012
Your post is excellent and I really have no problem with any of your
points. They are all very salient.
Except if you are an aware human being you are a witness to history.
In an attempt to further clarify my point the duty and obligation of a
professional historian is to seek the Truth, the Facts, as accurately as
We have an obligation as humans if we want the truth to filter out
falsehoods and fictions.
People who write a book and want to present themselves as authoritative
historians have an obligation, to themselves if not anyone else, to winnow
out falsehoods and fiction from what is specified as history.
Either something happened or it didn't even if we didn't see it.
Authors, if they want to call their work history need to cull fiction and
blatant errors from their works if they want to maintain their integrity.
I am beating a dead horse here in the GDG.
It has been suggested that I am a liar with no rebuke from the moderators
to the person making the assertion.
I have learned that some people in the GDG like having fiction and blatant
errors, deliberate or otherwise, mixed in with their history. And that's
OK. It's their lives.
I am just personally of the camp that if I read a book categorized as
history to be only the facts and no fiction
"Just the facts, ma'am."
Your Most Obediant Servant
In a message dated 1/15/2012 9:50:03 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
joadx1 at netscape.net writes:
Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Let's try to get at this from a different angle. Let's take the words
"The perception of the facts can be faulty and difficult to get
but not to get the perception right in no way alters the facts.
Two people can witness the same traffic accident and give different
stories of it. The different stories in no way alters the events of the
Now, here is the problem of the historian, of every historian. The
historian only has access to those witnesses and their written testimony, not to
the actual events. And, as you also say,
eye-witness testimony is notoriously unreliable. The events described by
the witnesses stand as something along the lines of what Immanual Kant
called a "ding an sich," that is, as "things in themselves."
But such factual things in themselves (events) are not directly available
to the historian (just as Kant's ding an sich" is never directly available
to perception or cognition), who only has their constructions,
in the form of evidence.
Now, as I have indicated earlier today, a very prominent point of view
today is that since the event is never directly available and all one can do
is assess and interpret textual evidence,
there really is no underlying historical ding an sich. Personally, I am
opposed to, and have opposed, that notion. But neither can I claim to have
any direct access to historical events.
There is only the evidence, and the kind of historian that I favor bases
his or her interpretations and assessments of that evidence on the
foundation of probability or potentiality,
a foundation whose persuasiveness is tied to the most evidence. But
evidential potentiality is all the historian has; never the actuality of the
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