Lesson 1: What is History?
1.1 History is the systematic study of the past.
1.2 History is a science whose business is to study events not accessible to our observation, and to study these events inferentially, arguing to them from something else which is accessible to our observation, and which historians calls "evidence for events in which he is interested." (Philippine Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, 1993)
1.3 History is NOT merely the record of past events: " it is the record of what one age finds worthy of note in another.
1.4 History is Kasaysayan which is a Filipino terminology for the subject which is actually a combination of two concepts: salaysay (narrative) and saysay (meaning).
1.5 Two "guidepost" of History:
1.5.1 TIMELINE. History is chronology; a study in time. Our understanding of the past is affected by our perception of order, movements, causes and its corresponding effects.
126.96.36.199 Implication: By browsing the events of our history and comparing it with that of another country, we will realize that the Philippines is yet a very young country. Younger even than our grandparents.
1.5.2 GEOGRAPHY. Any story, including that from our history, is defined by the setting upon which its plot unfolds. The very characteristics of the players of the plot are a result of the land from which they came.
188.8.131.52 Implication: The fact that the Philippines is "archipelagic" renders our people multi-cultural with many regionalistic biases.
184.108.40.206 The Eleven Major Islands of the Philippine Archipelago (from largest):
220.127.116.11 There is no island named Visayas; the term refers to that particular group of islands found in the middle of Luzon and Mindanao as there is no island called Ilo-ilo as it is a portion of that island called Panay. Of the 7,107 islands, only 2,773 have names and 1,190 are inhabited.
18.104.22.168 Total land area of the Philippines: 300,780 sq. km. which is 0.2% of the world. The Philippines is bigger than the Great Britain, comparatively the same as Italy and a little less than Japan.
Lesson 2: Methodology in History
2.1 Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised in the philosophy of history as a question of epistemology. The study of historical method and writing is known as historiography.
2.2 The following core principles of source criticism were formulated by two Scandinavian historians, Olden-Jørgensen (1998) and Thurén (1997):
Bernheim (1889) and Langlois & Seignobos (1898) proposed a seven-step procedure for source criticism in history:
2.4 External criticism: authenticity and provenance
Garraghan divides criticism into six inquiries
R. J. Shafer on external criticism: "It sometimes is said that its function is negative, merely saving us from using false evidence; whereas internal criticism has the positive function of telling us how to use authenticated evidence."
Internal criticism: historical reliability
Noting that few documents are accepted as completely reliable, Louis Gottschalk sets down the general rule, "for each particular of a document the process of establishing credibility should be separately undertaken regardless of the general credibility of the author." An author's trustworthiness in the main may establish a background probability for the consideration of each statement, but each piece of evidence extracted must be weighed individually.
R. J. Shafer offers this checklist for evaluating eyewitness testimony
Garraghan says that most information comes from "indirect witnesses," people who were not present on the scene but heard of the events from someone else. Gottschalk says that a historian may sometimes use hearsay evidence. He writes, "In cases where he uses secondary witnesses, however, he does not rely upon them fully. On the contrary, he asks: (1) On whose primary testimony does the secondary witness base his statements? (2) Did the secondary witness accurately report the primary testimony as a whole? (3) If not, in what details did he accurately report the primary testimony? Satisfactory answers to the second and third questions may provide the historian with the whole or the gist of the primary testimony upon which the secondary witness may be his only means of knowledge. In such cases the secondary source is the historian's 'original' source, in the sense of being the 'origin' of his knowledge. Insofar as this 'original' source is an accurate report of primary testimony, he tests its credibility as he would that of the primary testimony itself."
Gilbert Garraghan maintains that oral tradition may be accepted if it satisfies either two "broad conditions" or six "particular conditions", as follows:
More recent evidence concerning the potential reliability or unreliability of oral tradition has come out of fieldwork in West Africa and Eastern Europe.
Synthesis: historical reasoning
Once individual pieces of information have been assessed in context, hypotheses can be formed and established by historical reasoning.
Argument to the best explanation
C. Behan McCullagh lays down seven conditions for a successful argument to the best explanation:
McCullagh states this form of argument as follows:
Argument from analogy
The structure of the argument is as follows: