Imagination plays too important a role in the writing of history, and what is imagination but the projection of the author’s personality.

—Pieter Geyl

This quotation felt powerful as it made me realize that the people who write history can write it in a way that can express their emotions and how they feel about the subject. This can affect the way the people that read their books and how they understand what they are reading. If the author is writing about something they are not passionate about, they could not explain it very well or go into much depth. On the other hand, if they are writing about something they find interesting they might go into much greater depth and write in a more persuasive manner. This quotation makes us think about how we might need to look at multiple different sources to get the information we need in an unbiased way. Also, reading multiple different documents from different sources might help us get different views and opinions about history.

Something else that really made me think was the document “Analyzing a Historical Document”. It is all about how to look at different historical documents. There are seven different ways to look at a historical document or seven different ways to analyze a particular document. The one way that I found most interesting was number two. “What are the Physical Characteristics of the document?” I found this the most interesting as it talks about how we can tell if the document is fake or has been tampered with or if it is the original document or not. All this makes History an interesting AOK as there are so many different paths to look at and how we interpret what we read is completely up to us. I think that studying this AOK can make us think about what we read and how we read it. How can we really know what is accurate about history and what is not? Everything that we know about history is from history books and studying history in school. None of us were there when what we are learning about in school actually happened so everyone is affected by how the authors of history books write and that can really affect how we view History as an AOK.

One thought on “History”

  1. Will, this is a good start, but you could improve it by considering the implications. For example, you write, “Everything that we know about history is from history books and studying history in school.” Couldn’t one say much the same thing about math, chemistry, biology, physics, economics, etc.? Yes. So why are people quicker to conclude that we can’t know anything about history than they are to say that we can’t know anything about those other subjects. How *can* we arrive at a high level of confidence about our knowledge in each of those AOKs? What tools and methods are available to us in each of them? How are they similar? How are they different?

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