Scientific History

“The progress of history as a science must depend largely in the future as in the past upon the development of cognate sciences, — politics, comparative jurisprudence, political economy, anthropology, sociology, perhaps above all of psychology. It is these sciences which have modified most fundamentally the content of history, freed it from the trammels of literature, and supplied scientific canons for the study of mankind. They are the auxiliary sciences of history in a far deeper sense than are paleography, diplomatics, or even philology. The sciences relating to mankind will hereafter dominate the work of the historian.”
– Congress of Arts and Science (1905)[4, p.51]

“History has now become a science – a cut-and-dried science, if you will, but a science which has made, perhaps, more progress the past half century than any other.”
The Catholic Historical Review, vol. 2, no. 2 (1916)[1, p.240]

When I was very young, I was suitably impressed to learn that, appearances not withstanding, the whale is not a fish. Nowadays, these questions of classification move me less; it does not worry me unduly when I’m assured that history is not a science. This terminological question is an eccentricity of the English language. In every other European language, the equivalent word to ‘science’ includes history without hesitation. But in the English-speaking world this question has a long past behind it, and the issues raised by it are a convenient introduction to the problems of method in history.”
– E. H. Carr (1961)[3, p.56]

“What exactly is scientific history? …it is history using the full resources of modern scholarship to carry out its primary task of finding out what happened in the past.”
– W. H. Walsh (1973)[2, p.204]

“Thus for Droysen as for Wilhelm von Humboldt, Savigny, or Ranke, history was a hermeneutical science. Nevertheless it was a science.”
– G. G. Iggers (1995)[5, p.132]

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[1] – “Part I: The Auxiliary Sciences. II. Chronology.” The Catholic Historical Review, vol. 2, no. 2, 1916, pp. 240–243. JSTOR, Accessed 3 Oct. 2020.

[2] – WALSH, W. H. “HISTORY AS SCIENCE AND HISTORY AS MORE THAN SCIENCE.” The Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 49, no. 2, 1973, pp. 196–212. JSTOR, Accessed 4 Oct. 2020.

[3] – E. H. Carr. “What Is History?” (1961).,_What_is_History,_1961.pdf. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

[4] – Congress of Arts and Science: Universal Exposition, St. Louis, 1904. United States, Houghton, Mifflin, 1905. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

[5] – Iggers, Georg G. “Historicism: The History and Meaning of the Term.” Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 56, no. 1, 1995, pp. 129–152. JSTOR, Accessed 3 Apr. 2021.

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