The History Core


There are certain aspects in the study of History that are blatantly factual, but Histories and Biographies are primarily interpretations. The examination of historical events and the lives of individuals is more art than science, and the final product is more a tentative argument than a final conclusion. That doesn’t mean we should consider all historical analysis and scholarship as relative. That would be a mistake. Not all arguments are equally valid or probable based on the historical evidence. The tentative nature of historical knowledge doesn’t minimize the edification gained from studying history or biography, because this interpretive process sharpens critical thinking and evaluation skills. It forces us to judge, weigh, and consider. It exercises the very process of thinking that will guide most of the decisions in our lives. This is the core of what a liberal arts education is about: the making of an autonomous and free soul, able to make informed and un-coerced decisions.

3 thoughts on “The History Core

  1. Spot on! You are so right. The travesty of it all is that in our present society there is less and less emphasis upon the Liberal Arts, including history, due to a large extent to the domination of scientism (to be distinguished from the fine study of the sciences.)

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    1. Thank you, Jonathan. I meet so many young people who are studying business or tech or some branch of science in college. And that’s great. I happen to love science, and we actually do need a more scientifically literate public. Science does improves our critical faculties. But science is limited in expanding the empathetic reach of individuals. We expand our mind in this way through the Humanities, through reading history, philosophy, literature and the arts. Yes, it’s very important that we need to know how to advance industry, medicine and technology. But we also need to expand and inform our emotional awareness and sense of connectedness with other human beings.

      Liked by 1 person

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