27 May 2008

Yesterday, Ed Jonker accepted his promotion to professor in the Foundations and History of Historical Enquiry (Grondslagen en Geschiedenis van de Geschiedbeoefening). Although one may infer history to be literature, based on an individual's personal interpretation of sources, its 'foundations' would be non-existent. Nevertheless, Ed Jonker showed in his oration that the discipline of history has had multiple foundations to base its principles on. Too many foundations, in fact; hence the confusion. Leopold von Ranke had attempted to provide history with a scientific methodology and objectivity, while the Whig interpretation of history was aimed at the continuation and inevitable victory of progress over reaction. Perhaps history will always remain the contemporary interpretation of the past, we surely can find comfort in the fact that the discussion on its foundations can only lead to a more appropriate and more honest historical enquiry.

The HCSSH students congratulate their teacher with his promotion.


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