History Consciousness and Mapping the Discipline of History

History Consciousness and Mapping the Discipline of History

In the first chapter of History and Historians, Mark T. Gilderhus explores historical consciousness in the modern age. Gilderhus explains that the modern age developed in the periods starting at the 14th century through the 19th century. This was based on the shift of relying on secular thought and developments rather than superstition or non-secular justifications. Using examples of famous historical writers, Gilderhus argues that the role of historians in the 18th century relied on verifying and authenticating historical sources rather than the current role of historians which is analyzing and understanding context. He argues that historical writers like Voltaire, David Hume, etc. from the enlightenment did not understand the importance of historical context and development and critiqued historical evidence on their own perspectives. The author argues this led to the eventually lead of history becoming multifaceted.

In Mapping the discipline of history by Ludmilla Jordanova, the author outlines the most important points that help in mapping the discipline of history and the complexity it entails. The first being the idea that history is huge and complex involving many different forms, places, people, and times of history. The next point deals with the vast ways in which history can be divided and studied. The final point, is to acknowledge that dividing the content is complex, however there is always attempts by historians to make it easier and more manageable in dividing the understanding of history. Jordanova explains that general categories of methods, approaches, and theories could be used to generally classify certain historical pieces of knowledge. However, it is difficult to establish certain disciplines when historical pieces fit into many different categories, often intersecting and overlapping with each other. Later, the author divides the kinds of history up by using three basic elements, political, social, and economic and they effect the study of history.

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