Thucydides was a historian: a master of history. On history, he comments, "People, you see, unquestioningly
accept the legends handed down by their forebears even when those legends relate to their own native history (4)." Many people
have taken to the claim that too much of the history we are learning in schools is false. Perhaps humans should take history's
truth to be the same way that we take the media to be- a series of facts that have been linked together as best as they can,
considering our natural biases and inclinations of thought. Considering history from long periods of time past,
we have to recognize the fact that history changes as is re-spoken of again and again. As far as believing what's fact and
what's not fact, there arises a more complex issue because not every historical event can provide support and evidence to
make it "fact."
While it's important that we, as individuals, should enrich ourselves with history,
it's important that we take an objective and skeptical approach when analyzing history. History in itself has taught us that
much of what's been passed along, in our earlier years (human existence), has been subjective and passed along authoritatively
rather than by science. In the sense that we question, the questioned present empirical data and evidence to prove it as fact.
The purpose of historical inquiry is not simply to present facts but to search for an interpretation
of the past. Historians attempt to find patterns and establish meaning through the rigorous study of documents and artifacts
left by people of other times and other places. The study of history is vital to a liberal arts education. History is unique
among the liberal arts in its emphasis on historical perspective and context. Historians insist that the past must be understood
on its own terms; any historical phenomenon--an event, an idea, a law, or a dogma for example--must first be understood in
its context, as part of a web of interrelated institutions, values, and beliefs that define a particular culture and era.
Among the liberal arts, history is the discipline most concerned with understanding change. Historians
seek not only to explain historical causality--how and why change occurs within societies and cultures. They also try to account
for the endurance of tradition, understand the complex interplay between continuity and change, and explain the origins, evolution,
and decline of institutions and ideas. History is also distinguished by its singularly broad scope. Virtually every
subject has a history and can be analyzed and interpreted in historical perspective and context; the scope of historical inquiry
is bound only by the quantity and quality of surviving documents and artifacts.
It is commonly acknowledged that an understanding
of the past is fundamental to an understanding of the present. The analysis and interpretation of history provide an essential
context for evaluating contemporary human civilization. By demanding that we see the world through the eyes of others, that
we develop a sense of context and coherence while recognizing complexity institutions, politics, and cultures. Understanding
the present configuration of society is not the only reason to study the past; history also provides unique insight into human
nature and ambiguity, and that we confront the record not only of human achievement but also of human failure, cruelty, and
barbarity, the study of history provides us with a richly-textured framework for understanding the human condition and grappling
with moral questions and problems. History is essential to the traditional objectives of the liberal arts, the quest for wisdom