1. Why study history?
We study history in order to better understand how the relationship of cause and effect effects our lives. We use history to find patterns in what we did and how it changed our present environment.
2. Is knowledge of the past ever certain?
Knowledge of the past is never certain. The very best we can hope for is a certainty of 99.9%, seeing as every piece of evidence has some degree of doubt associated with it.
3. Does the study of history widen our knowledge of human nature?
By studying history, we are able to see how and potentially why human beings act and react the way they do. So many variables are involved when trying to understand human behavior and an understanding of history is vastly important.
4. Can history help in understanding the present or predicting the future?
History can be useful in predicting the future because if we understand patterns that formed in the past, we may be able to recognize patterns as they form.
5. To what extent does emotion play a role in an historian’s analysis? Is (historical) objectivity possible?
Emotions play a large role in how a historical event is portrayed. Emotions cloud judgement and skew the information both accepted and conveyed by the historian.
6. Why do accounts of the same historical event differ? Whose history do we study?
Historical events differ because of the differences in perception the historians have. Each will view the same event through slightly different means and thus interpret the event in different ways.
7. What determines how historians select evidence and describe/interpret or analyse events?
A historian selects evidence based upon preconceived notions that fit his or her viewpoints. Things that don't fall into the viewpoints will either be ignored or have little to no emphasis placed on them.
8. What problems are posed for the study of history by changes in language and culture over time?
Changes in language pose a big problem because when words are translated, they may lose their connotative meaning. This present problems when ideas are trying to be conveyed either from one historian to another, or when one piece of evidence needs to be translated.
9. Can history be considered in any sense “scientific”?
Because history does not utilize the scientific method, it can not be called a science, but history uses other sciences such as anthropology and geology in order to gather evidence.