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Is history a science?

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Is history a science? History and science are thought to be to completely different areas of knowledge and that there is no similarity between them whatsoever, however that is not true in many cases, as seen in the extract Is history a science from The Nature of History by Arthur Marwick. Marwick first states that there is no similarity between the scientist's methods and the historian's intuition, yet there is a similarity. For instance, a scientist will develop an intuition and this intuition he/she will choose to conduct a certain type of experiment and not another, and if that experiment does not work he/she will look for a new experiment. In the same way a historians intuition could suggest certain probable connections in history and with his/her intuition they will attempt to establish the probability of the existence of such a relationship or it will cause the historian to seek new sources. ...read more.


However, I disagree with his statement because when a historian attempts to find out about the past then they first gather as many facts as possible in an objective manner and then they draw a conclusion. This is similar to how it s done in science. The scientist observes in an objective manner and then analyzes their results. Marwick also states in this extract that there is a difference between scientific predictions and historical predications and I tend to agree with him. For a historian a prediction is made after using evidence that is collected with what he/she feels occurs in a certain circumstance. Whereas a scientist makes a prediction before evidence is gathered, before the experiment is even conducted. Perhaps the similarity here is that both these areas of knowledge use predictions but in different ways. ...read more.


A scientist goes through the entire scientific process by observing, hypothesizing, experimenting, analyzing their results, and repeating their experiment to obtain "a law." Whereas a historian goes through a process of gathering resources, creating a thesis, search for more sources, drawing a conclusion, and having historians comment/criticize their work to obtain a consensus. In the end, I believe that history and science share so much in common even though many people do not see the connection. I think that the difference between these two subject matters obscures the similarity that is there. In addition, science and history use things such as intuition and predictions, but each to a different degree, which is perhaps why people see the differences and not the similarities. Thus, there is no fundamental difference between the main aims and methods of these two areas of knowledge ...read more.

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