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The Limits of Historical Knowledge
Terms in this set (22)
Relating to the theory of knowledge, how we know things.
Neutral, objective. Not to be confused with 'uninterested'.
British scientist and philosopher. Popper rejected induction as a basis for science and argued that the proper role of scientific observation was to refute existing theories rather than to try to confirm them.
Jakob Burckhardt (1818-97)
Swiss historian. He is credited with having coined the term 'Renaissance' (French: 'rebirth') to describe the cultural changes and revival of classical form in 15th c. Italy.
Reasoning from experiment and experience, rather than from theoretical principles. Although strict scientific experimentation is a form of empiricism, so too is deduction based on ill-defined 'common sense', which can lend empiricism an ambiguous intellectual status.
British historian. He pioneered the study of the history of the English family. His ground-breaking work of social history The World We Have Lost (1965) overturned many common assumptions about everyday life in early modern England.
Sir Michael Howard
British military historian, Regis Professor of Modern History at Oxford 1980-9.
Sir Geoffrey (G.R.) Elton
First made his name with a detailed study, based on his Ph.D. thesis, of what he called The Tudor Revolution in Government. He held that Thomas Cromwell had instituted such a strikingly modern system of bureaucracy at Henry VII's court that it amounted in effect to an administrative revolution. However, Elton was sometimes accused of seeing everything in Tudor England as if it related to bureaucratic administration.
Also known as constructionists; the literary forebears of historical Postmodernists. Inspired by the French literary scholar Jacques Derrida, they stressed the importance of analyzing not just the wording of a text but the hidden assumptions and social or moral values within its vocabulary, even questioning whether text actually denotes what its words theoretically mean.
French philosopher and social historian. Foucault's studies of restrictive or oppressive institutions, such as 19th c. hospitals, prisons and mental asylums, have led to a new understanding of the power relationship between the individual and the state.
Completely unacceptable. The term comes from the Roman Catholic Church, where it is used to denote ideas and beliefs that are entirely incompatible with Catholic doctrine.
A metaphor or figure of speech.
Artistic or relating to art or beauty.
Dominant, exercising power over a region or domain.
An old term for an idea or body that is not as strong as it looks.
The pioneering measure of parliamentary reform, which was finally passed into law in 1832. Historians point out that its provisions were relatively modest but that its symbolic importance was immense.
A tract is a small booklet, larger than a pamphlet but smaller than a book, which puts across an argued case. Tracts were widely used in the 19th c. by church and religious reform groups, but there were plenty of political tracts as well.
The idea that all codes of values or ethics are equivalent and exist in relation to their context; it is therefore not possible to say that any one of them is in any sense 'better' than any other.
An angry and impassioned argument.
Academic work is usually scrutinized in detail by other academics in a process known as peer review.
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