The study of history is not just a story based on sources. A scholar is able to explain why he does what he does; awareness of methodological problems is the difference between a professional and a dilettante. Explaining this is of the greatest importance, because there are two disturbing developments.
- An increasing number of people has received a higher education, and is capable of recognizing the errors made by professional scholars, who are increasingly specialized and are often insufficiently aware of developments outside their specialism.
- On internet, people select the information they like - and this is usually bad information, because bad information drives out good.
Although it has, since about 2005, been generally recognized that websites like Livius.org and books for a larger audience must not just present the facts but should explain method as well, no satisfying way to explain method has been found so far. However, we can at least try to create awareness that history is a serious discipline. On this page, you will find links to several issues and problems, not all of them methodological.
There are 20 pages of this data type:
- Bad information drives out good
- Elimination of manuscripts
- Elimination of sources
- Everest Fallacy
- First Law of Archaeology
- Lectio difficilior potior
- Maximalists and Minimalists
- Positivist Fallacy
- Terminus ante/post quem
- Testis unus testis nullus
- Textual criticism