The historian’s fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when one assumes that decision Fischer did not suggest that historians should refrain from retrospective analysis in their work, but he reminded historians that their subjects were not. Full text of “Historians Fallacies Toward A Logic Of Historical Thought” ; quoted in Roger A. Fischer, “Racial Segregation in Ante Bellum New Orleans,”. HISTORIANS’. FALLACIES. Toward a Logic of Historical Thought by David Hackett Fischer. HARPER & ROW, PUBLISHERS. NEW YORK, EVANSTON, AND.

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The mis- take of this method lies in an attempt to separate two interdependent parts of a single process. The burden of proof rests solely on the historian author Lawrence Shaw Mayo, 3 vols. A debate between two raving lunatics is un- likely to issue in a triumph of reason. He shows that Senator X only stole from the government, and was kind to his children, and faithful to his wife, and loyal to his party.

Instead some master architect — not master builder — draws a rough sketch of a pyramid in the sand, and many laborers begin to hew their stones to fit. The answers may be general or particular, as the questions may require.

Who can say which? A good many intelligent men have wasted a great deal of time and effort to reconcile this epistemological error with empirical facts which so obviously contradict it.

The writings of Machiavelli are chock-full of “P-or-not-P” tautological hypotheses.

Dec 28, Charles M. Fogel, “The Specification Problem,” p. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. Maybe that Byzantine character was neither a rat nor a fink, but something vastly more intricate, or something altogether different. They are therefore verifiable.



Fallacies of QuestionFraming 3. But there is no whole truth to be discovered by a simple method of in- duction. Would anyone debate on which is right or whether cocks in different countries sing different songs? It is witty I laughed outloud regularlyalmost G.

Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought by David Hackett Fischer

Sometimes it is histroians as a synonym for determinism by embattled antideterminists. No trivia or quizzes yet. In such situations, the honest enquirer always has one consolation — his blunders may be as instructive as his successes. With hitsorians logic, but with a brilliant display of rhetorical fireworks, he argues that the ir- resistible force was not a force at all and that the immovable object was actually in motion. There are, of course, wide variations in common practice. Moreover, there can be no question- ing in a sophisticated sense without hypothesizing, and no systematic testing of hypotheses without the construction of hypothetical models which can be put to the test.

First, it may clearly indicate a few mistaken practices that are not sufficiently recognized as such. He can never hope to find the inner secret, maybe because it does not exist. This truth does not need to be taught to working historians, who bistorians learned it by bitter experience.

Historiqns some 70, miles in a battered, secondhand Plymouth, 43 he collected a wealth of information in order to construct working models of the eco- nomic and political structure of American society circa and to compile brief economic biographies of the men who participated in the Great Convention, and the state ratifying conventions as well.

Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought – David Hackett Fischer – Google Books

The way was prepared by a profound Pyrrhonism in the popular culture which was perfectly exemplified by Poor Richard’s saying that “historians relate, not so much what is done, as what they would have believed,” or in General George Meade’s Philistine assertion that “I don’t believe the truth will ever be known, and I have a great contempt for history.


History, it is said, is an inexact science.

No man is free from the logic of his own rational assumptions — unless he wishes to be free from rationality itself. Many of these titles reflect a false dichotomy which is deeply embedded falacies scholarly literature on the subject at hand.

Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought

He says that the “why” questions deal with metaphysical issues that yield no fruitful or de Great critical thinking when it comes to historiography. The work of too many professional historians is diminished by an antirational obsession — by an intense prejudice against method, logic, and science.

There can be no thinking without questioning — no purposeful study of the past, nor any serious planning for the future.

Account Options Sign in. Why was American slavery the most awful the world has ever known?

Those historians who imagine themselves to be emancipated from phi- losophy are apt, in Keynes’s phrase, to be the slaves of some defunct philosopher. But be that as it may, his attempt at compromise will not work for other reasons.