History has been very useful for us as to know what happened in the past and how was it, we can use it to learn about something or for us not to commit the same mistake twice. Everything we know is thanks to history and there is history in everything, maths, biology, everything, and thanks to history we have been able to learn and surpass what we already know. My question is, how do we know that history is true? Of course there are documents that have been registered as time passes that is an evidence on some historic events, but how do we know exactly what happened. When some event happens eventually every person who was present in it will be dead and the only evidence will be what the people that were present there said, but there is always two parts of the story or maybe some things get mixed up as the story keeps passing through generations and that is why I think that maybe history is not completely reliable.
As I think about it, it can be very scary when I think about some event, for example a war, the only thing we know are the documents left of it and what people have been passing through time, but we will never know surely if what we have grown to believe and be taught in school is true or is mixed up a little or is just arranged for it to be what is most convenient for us as a society.
7 thoughts on “History – Josefa”
Then, how can we be sure that an event that happened if all the people are already dead?
What about other sources of information, like articles or newspapers? Are those reliable enough?
I never know what happen in the past. As Erica post, government might control the history and make people to believe that.
Josefa, you understand the basic questions quite well. Now you need to dig in to the details and examine various perspectives. What tools and methods do we have as a) historians, and b) as readers of history, to verify the facts and arrive at an account whose accuracy is highly probable?
One of the things that we’ve learned in ToK is how to develop our sense of the doubt, how we have to question everything we know. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave teach us that we must uncover the facts and see the light (truth) against the conformity of seeing the shadows of other’s opinions.
They say that we will always have many versions of the things, and this ones change when people re-tells them. I think that we always need to have some doubts about History, things can be different in the way that they have told us.
How could you make sure that the history you read is reliable, how can you know it’s a truth. People who had power in that past can easily changed the history we are reading now.
I think your post was really good and you took both points of view of history beig reliable or not, but if the “history” gets proven to be wrong, is that history? As the definition of history is “the study of past events, particularly in human affairs”, if an event is considered to be false, was it an event to start with? and how do you know you are studying history?