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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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As an example, he cited the well-known argument that Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor should have been predictable in the United States because of the many indications that an attack was imminent.

Fischer ought not to condemn the furtive fallacy outright, but rather to condemn it on the condition that it is not supported by facts.

Jan 07, Matt rated it liked it. A second wave of “revisionist” academic interpretations of Recon- struction began with an article by a Negro historian, W. But for Douglass North, “another card-carrying Cliometrician, ‘a social saving of 5 percent is a very substantial saving.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. What Is History — Fact or Fancy? Many of his hisrorians are sustained by one fact at most, and some by a pseudo fact.

Brown argues that given their definitions “Puritan ‘Mixt Aristocratie’ is much fxllacies our notion of democracy than our current meaning of aristocracy” p. It is not to be confused with presentisma mode of historical analysis in which present-day ideas such as moral standards are projected into the past. Calvin Coolidge’s famous first law of political economy is a familiar example.


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

The Formation of the American Republic, Boston, The latter is much ex- ploited by historians, not merely for rhetorical purposes but for sound research purposes as well. AH social inventions take place in terms of a national “style,” which strongly affects both their emergence and their impact.

The historian’s fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the yistorians viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.

Everyone has had some experience with a fallaces that “moves not on wheels, but only on hinges,” as Robert Hall complained of the un- fortunate Dr. Here again, Briden- baugh’s books provide a plenitude of examples. Nothing could be more absurd, or more nearly antithetical to the progress of a potent discipline.

That assertion is false, and always will be. Fischer’s book helps develop a way of thinking that allows one to undertake an extended reading, or a lengthy yistorians project, with a greater clarity, sharpness, and accuracy than has been demonstrated by many who do not have ventured into this arena of analysis and reasoning.

Fogel is leading his Cliometrical colleagues down the methodological rathole of the metaphysical question. Historical Essays New York,pp. The historian must not get these things wrong.


The problem of the reversible tallacies rises whenever a historian tries to draw an inference directly from law to life. Occasionally, it consists in an attempt to know everything about everything.

Kenny Cambridge,p. He is currently at work on a biography of Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer and founder of Quebec City.

Full text of “Historians Fallacies Toward A Logic Of Historical Thought”

Dichotomy is used incorrectly when a question is con- structed so that it demands a choice between two answers which are in fact not exclusive or not exhaustive. Ramsdell, Reconstruction in Texas ; Thomas S. A fact is a true descriptive statement about past events. A historian can only hope to know something about something.

This sort of statement is very common in the works of sixteenth-century historians, who were trained in dichotomous reasoning.


If so, what were the assessment rates in proportion to real value — percent? Margaret Ashley London, Second, he might demonstrate that there is a third possibility. It is rare that any two historical terms can be so related, unless one of them is specifically defined as the negation of the other. A relevant book on this mistakes historians make in thinking. Published December 30th by Harper Perennial first published January 30th