History

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sec 1 history chp 1 intro to history

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History

  1. 1. History A Brief Introduction
  2. 2. What is History? • History refers to the past itself, and to what historians write about the past. • Historiography can mean either the process of writing history, or the study of that process.
  3. 3. Why does history matter? • History does not present us with lesson to be learnt. If people do learn from history, why do they still fight in war. • However, the past presents us with an opportunity to draw lessons for consideration. • Thinking about what human beings do in the past – the bad and the good – provides us with examples through which we might contemplate our future actions, just as does the study of novels and films.
  4. 4. Why does history matter? • History provides us with an identity, just as memory does for an individual. • For example, the history of Singapore provides an identity for its people. • However, it is important that we do not become imprisoned by the past. To be guilty of it, we will be losing our humanity.
  5. 5. Why does history matter? • History can show us some deep, fundamental insights into human condition; that sifting through the past we may discover some intrinsic thread to our lives.
  6. 6. Why do history? • For enjoyment. • There is pleasure for studying the past just like studying music or art. • E.g. Looking at old documents, gazing at old paintings, and seeing something of a world that is not entirely our own. • Meeting different personalities. E.g. Alexander the Great, Jesus Christ, Adolf Hitler, Gandhi, the Spartans, etc.
  7. 7. Why do history? • Using history as something with which to think. • Studying history necessarily involves taking oneself out of one’s present context and exploring an alternative world. • This cannot help but make us more aware of our own lives and contexts. • To study history is to study ourselves.
  8. 8. Why do history? • History allows us to think differently about oneself, to gather something of how we ‘come about’ as individual human beings, is also to be made aware of the possibility of doing things differently. • Therefore, history is an argument, and arguments present the opportunity for change. • History provides us with the tools to dissent.

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