Tuesday 14 October 2014

Objectivity in history

Interesting article by Thomas Anchukandam on history and its problems: "The Relevance of History and Salesian Historiography - A Philosophical Approach." (La storiagrafia salesiana tra studi e documentazione nella stagione postconciliare, ed. Grazia Loparco and Stanislaw Zimniak, Roma: LAS, 2014, 133-142.) Section 3 is on the vexed question of historical objectivity. The author takes the by now unobjectionable line of: neither tyranny of 'facts' nor tyranny of 'perspectives' or 'interpretations' or 'viewpoints'. (137) It would be interesting to push further and ask, however: how is this to be done? How to attain this wonderful balance?

There is no viewpointless history, that is clear. So, with Heidegger: don't try to jump out of the circle of your historicity; rather, jump in properly. In other words: be conscious, to the extent, possible of your historicity. Or else, with Lonergan, use group processes to help in the process of objectification of inevitable subjectivity or viewpoint or horizon. 

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