Friday, September 20, 2019

The Landscape of History Essay -- Book Review, John Lewis Gaddis

In The Landscape of History, John Lewis Gaddis makes a cohesive argument concerning about the debate over the objectivity of truth by stating â€Å"objectivity as a consequence is hardly possible, and that there is, therefore, no such thing as truth (Gaddis 29). The question for objective history has long been debated by numerous historians, and the differing viewpoints of history have led to a transition in our ways of thinking in the modern world. Ultimately, the question that this paper focuses on is: to what extent is history objective? Along with this, the relation to historical consciousness and the challenges of living in modernity will also be assessed. This paper will analyze the texts of John Lewis Gaddis, Nietzsche and the Birth of Tragedy, Modernity and Historical Vision, Living in Modernity, and Hermeneutics. Finally, the paper will argue that history is not largely objective, and is fundamentally shaped through the historian’s subjectivity. John Lewis Gaddis, in his book, The Landscape of History, generates a strong argument for the historical method by bringing together the multiple standpoints in viewing history and the sciences. The issue of objective truth in history is addressed throughout Gaddis’s work. In general, historians learn to select the various events that they believe to be valid. Historians must face the fact that there is an â€Å"accurate† interpretation of the past ceases to exist because interpretation itself is based on the experience of the historian, in which people cannot observe directly (Gaddis 10). Historians can only view the past in a limited perspective, which generates subjectivity and bias, and claiming a piece of history to be â€Å"objective† is simplistic. Seeing the world in a multidimensiona... ... in history. There is no real objective aspect to history, but a multitude of attitudes towards history can make history a discipline that allows for multidimensionality. The debate regarding whether or not history could be objective has been discussed and interpreted by many historians. The ways we think about history has allowed for the divergence of various perspectives in the world we live in today. In sum, the question discussed in this paper pertains to the extent of which history can be objective. This question has left room for several interpretations in the field of historiography and challenged our experienced in the era of modernity. This paper’s argument went for the subjective side of the argument with evidence for my argumentation from John Gaddis, Friedrich Nietzsche, Postmodernity and Modernity, Living in Modernity, and Heidegger’s Hermeneutics.

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