Comments on: What is the point of learning history? http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:23:22 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: alluringjoker53339122.pen.io http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-2439516 Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:04:18 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-2439516 Hello would yyou mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using?
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By: Anon http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-875304 Tue, 20 Sep 2011 21:52:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-875304 i thought people study history these days to understand how people explain the past as present. so this whole ‘learning from history’ is just a recurrent historiographic trope that’s more about the sociology of historical study than history. kind of like the notion of Christian monks running around and collecting manuscripts after the ‘fall’ of Rome. what present purpose does the repetition of that commonplace serve, for example?

am i totally naive or way too post-linguistic turn, history as representation and all that?

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By: Shelley http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872481 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 15:33:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872481 My writing is based on history, and I can tell you this: if you want one of the best and most intelligent conversations of your life, then, yes: talk to an older gentleman who’s a thoughtful Democrat.

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By: truffula http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872350 Tue, 13 Sep 2011 05:19:57 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872350 truffula: The better conversation is about what we mean when we say we understand something or know something.

CPP: Perhaps as an intellectual exercise, but this is not a conversation that is relevant to science as an actual human enterprise.

I disagree but there may be a difference in how theorists, experimentalists, and so on think about the scientific endeavor. Science is littered with wrong conclusions built on perfectly valid principles and (apparently) correct conclusions built on the wrong principles. This is about “knowing” things.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872174 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 17:25:13 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872174 Ce n’est pas un Richard Pipes.

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By: Matt_L http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872162 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 16:51:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872162 I know! Time traveling Bolsheviki! Its amazing!

I have to get back to my Richard Pipes. Or is it smoking my pipe… or is it Magritte???

“This is not Richard Pipes”

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By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872161 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 16:48:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872161

The better conversation is about what we mean when we say we understand something or know something.

Perhaps as an intellectual exercise, but this is not a conversation that is relevant to science as an actual human enterprise. For understanding how scientists construct knowledge, naive realism is sufficient.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872138 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 15:29:44 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872138 There were bolsheviki when von Ranke haunted the archive? Formidable!

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By: Matt_L http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872126 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:45:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872126 I thought the purpose of history was to retell the glorious victories of the Fatherland?

This sustains our collective will as a Volk, keeps the hearth fires burning and sustains the morale of our valiant troops fighting back the bolshevik hordes on The Eastern Front.

Or at least thats what I learned in Seminar with Leopold von Ranke.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/09/11/what-is-the-point-of-learning-history/comment-page-1/#comment-872097 Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:11:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16507#comment-872097 Or, having a historical perspective can make one insufferably self-righteous when one sees one collective mass delusion after another turn to dust. The historian then can stand amidst the ruins and say, “I told you so, dumba$$es!”

That’s fun. The first 6 or 7 times. But then it just gets tiresome.

Quixote and Feminist Avatar make some good points about the uses of history–a point Charlie made wayyyy upthread. I don’t disagree that mobilizing history is a prominent aspect of the rights movements of the past 60 years–in the U.S., Civil Rights, women’s rights, and gay rights, for example. (In fact, I’m lecturing tomrorow on the complicated relationship between queer history and the gay rights movement.) Disability rights & disability history have grown up together even more recently.

People who WANT to learn from history can learn some useful things. But collectively, most U.S. Americans don’t really want to learn. They want to be reassured of the old mythology about America, and they want to pursue short-term gains even when the longue duree suggests a wiser course. And so, it’s Tulip Mania and Asian Land Wars all over again. . . again and again. Other nations aren’t any smarter, either: I think the short-term gain is hard-wired into the human animal, but U.S. Americans have made an art of burning through an epic amount of land, human, and natural resources in order to sustain the fantasy of “American Exceptionalism.”

I know I bring him up all of the time, but how can we not honor Gore Vidal for his “United States of Amnesia” line?

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