TOK: What are the effects of biased language and unsound reasoning on history?

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What are the effects of biased language and unsound reasoning on history?

Language and reason play a vital role in history. History is written and it is passed from one generation to the other through language. And to write history, a historian has to rely on his reason. Reasoning is closely connected with sense perception and language. In fact language is at the very core of reasoning. Language is a vast unmapped territory fascinating our intelligence and casting spells on our reason. According to Claude Levi Strauss,

Language is a form of human reason”. 

This has its internal logic of which man knows nothing. History, as an area of knowledge, loses its meaning if it is aloof from the significant tools of knowledge-language and reason.

As a Theory of Knowledge student, I will look forward to assessing this statement in the light of evidence and justifications. The essay will substantiate how language combined with reason can make history more reliable. My essay will also judge if language and reason may lead to misinterpretation of historical facts. What can be the effects of biased language and unsound reasoning on history? What happens to history when fabricated language wrings reasoning?

   According to Max Mueller, there can be 

“No language without reason,and no reason without language”.

 Together with language and reason a historian writes history. Both the tools of knowledge are complimentary to each other. But these tools are not impregnable. Language and reason both can become swayed under the bent of mind of a human, made of flesh and blood. If they are the most instrumental in writing history, they are the most fallacious as well for distorting the real facts.  For example Mien Kampf is the biography of Adolf Hitler written by Lands- berg Am Lech. The book shows Hitler’s struggle to power. The biographer has given colour to Hitler’s escapades to the best of his capacity using his reason. He has written the biography in provocative German language, making Hitler a champion, a martyr. But is it the reality? Is Hitler who is responsible for the holocaust a hero? Certainly not, but it is what appears if you read Mien Kampf.                                  

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History is an argument without end”                    

   History is not the facts of the past alone but the processing of these facts into a coherent, meaningful interpretation of the past with which these facts are concerned. Historians explore the past from archives, public record offices, churches and historical documents (primary sources) and from information provided by other historians (secondary sources). But how do we know whether a particular history is telling us the truth?

The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history 

According to Nikita Khrushchev,

Historians are dangerous ...

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