Use and abuse of history
Historical knowledge, this noted Dutch historian declares, should be a result of free investigation and criticism. Since it deals with facts, not imagination, it cannot be cast into a predetermined mold to fit a unified pattern of arbitrary principles. "The most we can hope for," he states, "is a partial rendering, an approximation, of the real truth about the past." In this succinct analysis of the philosophy and method of history, Professor Geyl examines the prevailing concepts of history and the new "awareness of distance" from the past that was lacking in earlier historians. History, he points out, provides an elucidation of the present and its problems by showing them in perspective. This important study of the historical point of view is based on the author's Terry Lecture at Yale.
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abuse of history appeared argument attitude of mind Augustine Carlyle Comte concept cosmic process Cosmic Spirit divine doubt Dutch history Dutch Republic enlightenment essay European fact fearless criticism feeling forces France French Revolution G. G. Coulton German Geschichte Glorious Revolution God's Grotius Hegel historical attitude historical process historical spirit Holland Houston Stewart Chamberlain human affairs idea influence inspired laws lectures Macaulay mankind Marx medieval ment Michelet modern moral myth Napoleon Nietzsche nineteenth century organic unity party passion past Paul Valery period philosophy point of view politics Positivism Positivist School present professor proved Prussian quoted Ranke reality reason Reformation religion Romanticism Romein Sainte-Beuve seemed sense seventeenth century social Stadtholder Taine tendency Theodor Lessing thinking thought tion torians torical tory Toynbee Treitschke truth tury University University of Basel Voltaire Western civilization whole writing wrote Zeitgeist