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In Defence of History

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Proses pembuktian dan peranan fakta perlu diketengahkan di dalam mana-mana perbincangan historiografi. In fact, there are clear parallels between these seemingly modern phenomena and the postmodernism assertion that “no one can know anything beyond their own bodily identity” . He has little patience with those who seek to defend deniers (on grounds of free speech, mainly), maintaining that to be a historian worthy of being taken seriously, it is necessary to respect the truth. Manusia hanya mengenal Dunia melalui perantaraan bahasa dan bahasa pula tidak lebih daripada suatu binaan sosial, ujar pascamodenis.

As such, he seems to be advocating the absorption of the best aspects of postmodernism into the mainstream of historical methodology. It seems that postmodernists believe that all texts should be regarded with scepticism, apart from their own! Contrary, perhaps, to the impression given in the present reply to critics, the book has met with a very positive response from reviewers and others.The copyright to all contents of this site is held either by Granta or by the individual authors, and none of the material may be used elsewhere without written permission. Instead, he says of hyper-relativists that “somebody’s got to take them on at their level” and so this book is perhaps better understood as a blow in a historiographical street-fight than a sober reflection on philosophical traditions.

It’s not often that I read a book that’s written by a character in a movie, but I did so when I read Sir Richard Evans’s In Defense of History (1998). We are first taken on a tour of what the (European) study of history was thought to mean through time: it is no longer considered “scientific” by most – although Evans is quick to reassure us that it is just different and not worse. He goes on to state that when Evans defends history against the claims of postmodernism, he does so in a facile and reductive way.There are only so many facts left behind by history, and for the rest, the historians have to fill in the gaps with their best judgment.

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