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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Fischer seems particularly to relish razzing historians of some repute: In the end, there is a conundrum: The fallacy of contradictory questions is the framing of a ques- tion which is false by definition and contradicts itself.

Questions of this sort can be resolved empirically, and from them a skilled historian can construct a project with much greater sophistication, relevance, accuracy, precision, and utility, instead of fischee his time with metaphysical dilemmas raised by his profound “why” questions, which have often turned out to be about as deep as the River Platte.

Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought

Question-framing cannot be undertaken independently of question- answering, for no hypothesis can be demonstrated to be potentially veri- fiable except in the degree to which historiasn has been partially verified. Each generation does not rewrite the history books; it revises them.

Paris,5. The second is not. This idea is doubly deficient, for it commits a historian to the pursuit of an impossible object by an impracticable method.

Historian’s fallacy – Wikipedia

The most satis- 12 INQUIRY factory response, I think, is to indicate the structural deficiencies in the question-framing and to revise the inquiry on that level, by the intro- duction of a more refined and more open question, which can be flexibly adjusted as the analysis proceeds.


Toward a Logic of Historical Thought. Fallacies of QuestionFraming 3. If there is a tacit logic of historical inquiry, then one might hope to find a tacit illogic as well, which reveals itself in the form of explicit historical errors.

Historjans the results are the following fallacies. Good, The Scientist Speculates: There is profound sense of social ranks: For both authors, the dynamics of the problem were analyzed in terms of “a handful of statesmen” who were “impelled by an irresistible and illimitable compulsion to get More. There is, of 2. Account Options Sign in. White, The Foundations of Historical Knowledge, p. A relevant book on this mistakes historians make in thinking.

As it is presented to the reader, it has no more evidential value than the exclamation point which ends his sentence.

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

A rigorous attempt to purge history of metaphysics will, in truth, serve to narrow historical inquiry. But he can no more hope to resolve the issue of inevitability by empirical research than he can hope to determine by modern methods of quantification the number of angels which might be made to perch upon the head of a proverbial pin.

Each of these impressionistic snippets of pseudo-factual information is consistent with a thesis that 1 the streets of New Amsterdam were knee-deep in trash; or 2 the streets of New Amsterdam were kept spotlessly clean by the 6. But it is used often by historians in this improper way.

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

Historian’s fallacy

He is best known for his major study, Albion’s Seed, which argued that core aspects of American culture stem from several different British folkways and regional cultures, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington’s Crossing Pivotal Moments in American Historya narrative of George Washington’s leadership of the Continental Army during the winter of during the American Revolutionary War.


Lee and George Washington. The cost of haulage by canal boats is merely one of many imponder- ables. Moreover, it is doubly declarative, for it asks nothing and asserts the same thing twice.

Fischer’s book helps develop a way of thinking that allows one to undertake an extended reading, or a lengthy writing 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. Adam rated it it was ok Dec 07, Second, historical accuracy has also been diminished, during the past generation, by the progress of historical relativism.

The ninth assumes hisforians racial segregation did at some point in time harden into an elaborate mold, but maybe that institution has been continuously in process of change. History, it is said, is an inexact science.

By pressing methodological norms too far [Kaplan writes] we may inhibit bold and imaginative adventures of ideas. Fischer takes an empiricist and utilitarian approach that is refreshingly forthright.

Writing inFischer seemed to be motivated by the nuclear dangers of the Cold War, and he assigns to historians the responsibility of publicly discussing what the mistakes of the past can teach us today, and how solutions that may have worked yesterday are inappropriate to the problems of today.

Though Fischer does maintain the sense of serious and lofty purpose implied in his subtitle and elucidated in his introduction, the substance of the book is less imposing than it seems at first and hisrorians as challenging as one would have hoped.