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Clio and the Doctors (Midway Reprint Series)

by Jacques Barzun

ISBN 0226038513 / 9780226038513 / 0-226-03851-3
Publisher University Of Chicago Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

In this work Jacques Barzun presents his credo as a historian, defending Clio, the muse of history, against the "doctors" - those historians who apply the techniques of psychohistory and statistics to historiography. Measuring the usefulness of psycho- and quanto-history by the four criteria of substance, methodology, evidence, and motivation, Barzun contrasts the application of technology to historiography with his idea of the true spirit of historical inquiry. For Barzun, the study of history is for the cultivation of minds rather than for instruction in facts. He posits the historians' efforts to transform history into a science result from their attempts to overcome the necessary uncertainty of the discipline. Barzun's defense of his craft raises fundamental questions of theory and practice about both history and the methods applied to it. [via]