Historical enquiry and understanding our past

Holmes, Colin (2008) Historical enquiry and understanding our past. Contemporary Nurse, 30 (2). pp. 101-105.

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[Extract] The nature of history and its credentials as a discipline have long attracted sophisticated and passionate discussion. A sense of urgency was introduced in the 1980s, when postmodern criticism of the dominant traditions first appeared, and the sometimes bitter disputes as to representation, objectivity, truth, standpoints and ideology, morals, textuality and method, to name but a few, have been fuelled by a belief that the integrity and future of history and historians is at stake. However, my own experience in clinical and academic nursing settings has been that historical inquiry is dismissed not so much as theoretically problematic, or ill-conceived, or methodologically flawed, but rather as irrelevant. My own enthusiasm for history is often met with, 'Look, it's all in the past and you can't change it. You should do something useful!' Although these comments are not based on complex philosophical arguments, the question 'Why bother with history?' is surely logically prior to, and more fundamental than, those which dominate the former debates.

Item ID: 25100
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 1037-6178
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2013 23:35
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields > 220205 History and Philosophy of Medicine @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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