The Houses of History, by Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

965 Words4 Pages
In The Houses of History, many different schools of historical thought are presented and light in shed on what exactly it means to be those different types of historians. Not all historians think the same way or approach history from the same perspective, but some similar groups of thought have converged together and have formed the various types of historians that will be presented, such as empiricists, psychohistorians, oral historians, and gender historians. All of these groups can approach the same event or concept and look at them in an entirely different way simply due to the way the historical approach they are accustomed to views things. A beginning group of historians to take a closer look at is the empiricists. The empiricists have a very strictly factual and logical view on history and how to examine it. They believe that past is both “observable and verifiable” and that through adherence to three strict principles, the past can be represented objectively and accurately. (Green, Troup 3) The three aforementioned principles can be summed up as: meticulously examining historical evidence and verifying the evidence with references, making sure the research is completely impartial and free of biases and prejudices, and using an inductive, or observational, method of reasoning. (Green, Troup 3) The empiricists seek to find universal historical truths through objective research and sticking to the facts. The next group of historical thinkers is the psychohistorians. Sigmund Freud was the pioneer of psychoanalytic theory and psychohistory interprets history through psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic theory helps explain the players in history through their behavior and how they operate psychologically. Psychoanalytic theory was... ... middle of paper ... ...ngs throughout different cultures. It’s truly fascinating how there are so many different approaches to history, how so many different types of minds and schools of thought can come together to study the events of the world’s past. There are so many ways to approach what happened in our past, and the groups of historians previously mentioned are only a fraction of the actual number of different ways of researching and thinking that exists as it pertains to the study of history. History is in some ways, always a mystery, and all historians, regardless of schooling, training or biases, seek to accomplish one goal: to understand what occurred before us and why, and to use that knowledge to learn how the world was shaped into the world we live in today. Works Cited Green, Anna, and Kathleen Troup. The Houses of History. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1999.

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