Re: History and ASA

From: Craig Rusbult <>
Date: Thu Nov 17 2005 - 13:42:30 EST

    Ted says,
>My suspicion is, that history was included b/c it was once considered by
>many in academe as a branch of social science rather than as a branch of
>the humanities--which is how it is usually seen today. My own view is the
>modern one, that history is in the humanities rather than the social

    My experience with history (including a temporary period as a history
of science grad student at UW that helped me realize I felt more resonance
with "we scientists" and "we educators" than with "we educators") convinced
me that the methods used in historical research and scholarship are
basically scientific -- because historians find evidence and try to
construct theories (descriptive and/or explanatory) that are logically
consistent with the evidence. So I think it can be considered a social
    Also, history USES social science (especially psychology & sociology)
but IS it a social science? And there is a literary "art" to telling a
good story, whether it's fictional or claims to be based on observed
evidence, so this connects history with humanities, but is this more about
style or substance?

    What are the differences between social science and humanities? The
Ohio Humanities Council says, "The humanities are the stories, the ideas,
and the words that help us make sense of our lives and our world." By this
definition, history is certainly in humanities.

Why do you think it fits better into humanities, Ted?

Received on Thu Nov 17 13:44:16 2005

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