Historical Theory

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2002 - History - 228 pages
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Writing history involves selection, imagination, creativity. What then is left of notions of objectivity? Is history really nothing but fiction masquerading as fact? Practising historians claim that their accounts of the past are something other than fiction, myth or propaganda. Yet there are significant challenges to this view. Different theoretical approaches provide competing explanations and interpretations; historical controversies are often closely connected with political commitments; and postmodernists have queried whether there is indeed any means of accessing and recounting the past as it really was.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
The contested nature of historical knowledge
12
Historical paradigms and theoretical traditions
31
Investigations Routes from the present to the past
51
Beyond metanarrative plots puzzles and plausibility
53
Labelling the parts categories and concepts
74
Looking for clues the question of evidence
98
Satisfying curiosity structure agency and underlying assumptions
122
Representations The past in the present
141
Representing the past
143
History and partisanship
164
Conclusion partial histories
185
Notes
197
Select bibliography
216
Index
221
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