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Can the past be known as it really was?

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Arastoo Tavakoli TOK 10/01/03 Mr. Ward Word Count: 634 Can the past be known as it really was? History is the study of events in the past, but since it is based on perception and is being rewritten constantly, a certain bias will always exist. Whether this alters a person's perception of the history or not, it would be at least slightly different than another source that would be discussing the same event. This could be as a result of how the certain event affected them or how they were involved, or simply their personal views toward the subject causing them to exaggerate a certain point. ...read more.


In addition, history depends on first hand accounts and varying interpretations could arise from this account. To know the past as it really was would not only require the ability to understand completely another human being, but would also call for the capability to see an event from all sides, that is, to know every action and reaction and where and when they took place. This first hand account also has bias to it and so does every interpretation thereafter. Depending on how that first hand account affected the person, his bias and perception towards that event varies. Also the time between when the event occurred and when the account was told plays a major role. ...read more.


As a result of these problems the past can never be known as it was because bias and perception provide differing accounts no matter how large. Even an event that occurred where the whole world was watching, such as the September 11th attacks, if each person was interviewed, a slightly different perception of the even would be presented. In regard to bias, a Democrat might have a totally different opinion on a matter than a Republican. For example, one might see President Bush's decision to go to war as a necessity for security whereas another might emphasize the economic crisis that our country is in now. Once again bias and perception take their toll and make it impossible for history to be known as it really was. ...read more.

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