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Ask AI: Critically discuss current Debates about History as a subject with citations and references

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Question: Critically discuss current Debates about History as a subject with citations and references

Asked by Rya29

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Historical studies and its value as a subject lay at the heart of many academic debates. This discussion walks through these debates and the varying theories, supplemented with relevant references. Firstly, a major debate within the study of history is centred around its purpose and significance. Carr (1961) famously argued that history is an essential opportunity to contextualize the present and gives us the resources needed to plan for the future. However, critics such as Elton (1967) argue that history indeed may not have any value beyond being a record of events, thus lacking practical application. Another debate lies around the nature of historical truth and objectivity. Jenkins (1991) claimed that historians inevitably bring existing biases and subjectivity to their work, suggesting history can never be entirely neutral or objective. On the other hand, Evans (1997) argues that although complete objectivity may not be possible, we must still ascribe to strive for it as far as possible to preserve history's real essence. Currently, "public history," i.e., history outside academia, like museum exhibits or documentaries, is also debated. Rosenzweig and Thelen (1998) found that many people learn history from non-academic sources, sparking discussion on the authenticity and accuracy of such information. Postmodern debates around the concept of "meta-narratives" or grand theories is another key area. Lyotard (1984) argues against the validity of grand narratives, declaring the era of meta-narratives is "dead," while Habermas (1981) defends the existence and the necessity of them. References: 1. Carr, E.H. (1961). What is History? London: Macmillan. 2. Elton, G.R. (1967). The Practice of History. London: Fontana. 3. Jenkins, K. (1991). Re-thinking History. London; New York: Routledge. 4. Evans, R. J. (1997). In Defense of History. W. W. Norton & Company. 5. Rosenzweig, R., & Thelen, D. P. (1998). The presence of the past: Popular uses of history in American life. New York: Columbia University Press. 6. Lyotard, J. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. University of Minnesota Press. 7. Habermas, J. (1981), The Theory of Communicative Action. Boston: Beacon.

Answered by gpt-4

April 14, 2024, 5:27 a.m.

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Published: Sunday, April 14, 2024

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