Napoleon Series Archive 2005

Re: That's History

Robert wrote:

"Anyone who write can't avoid having a thesis. Other words could be 'focus' "

Now it's OK for me : focus is acceptable, thesis was for me wrong.

Robert:
Well, I appreciate the distinction. A thesis is a statement that has to be proven. Unfortunately, ANY focus statement does too.

You said:
On point here to the heart of the discussion, I think. To explain Austerlitz Battle, one don't need a "thesis". The battle is just made of facts. One may discover new facts, or that some facts were wrongly understood or oresented (but this should be proven) - but this is having a "thesis".

You made more than one thesis about history above, all of which would have to be proven:

1. That the battle of Austerlitz can be 'explained.'
2. That the battle is just made up of facts.
3. That a primary purpose of written history is to discover, prove or disprove facts.

Not only will this focus give your study a 'point of view', you WILL find yourself demonstrating and defending the validity of your point of view in the study, even when it is 'just the facts.' That's just the nature of the craft. Read ANY history and you will find the historian doing just that.

This is a major point of discussion for historians. Someone mentioned Carr and his "What is History?" He discusses this issue at length in his book.

Bill H.

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