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Transcript of TOK History
History is to society what memory is to the individual.
An individual without memory finds the world confusing; a society with no
sense of history is unaware where it has come from or where it is going.
Historians therefore have the job of providing members of society with:
A sense of identity
An understanding of the world as it is today
Lessons in right and wrong
▪ "History" is NOT "What happened in the past" or even "The surviving evidence of what happened in the past".
• It means "What historians choose to interpret from the surviving evidence of the past
• To reduce this to a formula, we might say:
Sources + Historians = Historie Quantity: How complete is the historical record?
• For Medieval historians, one problem is that there aren't enough sources.
• For Modern historians, one problem is that there are too many sources.
• For all historians, the main problem is that all surviving sources are, by definition, untypical.
• Every historical record is incomplete because important sources have been lost or destroyed Quality: How trustworthy is the historical record? Previous Lesson What is History?
- Evidence - traces of the past
- Explaining the past Historians Sources are incomplete, untypical and unreliable, as we found out in our last session. Historians therefore need to:
-Select sources to use, based on what questions need answering;
-Interpret those sources and make deductions from them;
-Organise and present their main conclusions to the public. “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” Why study history? Identity
Defence from Propaganda
To understand Human Nature self-realising expectations - cannot be changed! don't try! Primary Sources written by someone who was there at the time Falliable eye-witness Social Bias Deliberate manipulation p309 ? p308? p310? Writing History hindsight bias Present a disputed historical event Look at your own history. What would your parents, teachers, friends, or neighbours add?