Relationship of history and other disciplines in education

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relationship of history and other disciplines in education

Read this article to learn about the relationship of history with other sciences: History is a study of the various facts of human life and is closely linked with other . In this lesson, we will learn how history relates to other academic disciplines. in History and a He is an adjunct history professor, middle school history. With other social sciences like sociology, economics, psychology, history For example, in grade school, many kids are taught that the ancient Pyramid of Giza even history of the various fields that were studied in relation to.

Historical development of the discipline

History is very helpful to politics because the political aspects is a part of the whole range of activity recorded by historian and knowledge of history would enable the politicians to know the politics better and play their role effectively. History is also closely related to Economics. As the activities of a man in society are very closely related with the economic matters, the historian of any period must possess at least a rudimentary knowledge of the economics.

In fact, the economic history of any period is an important branch of history and its understanding is absolutely essential for the proper understanding of history of any period.

No doubt, it is true that during the last few years economics has become very complex and difficult subject, mostly dependent on mathematics, and a modern historian cannot acquire basic working knowledge of economic theory without devoting a lot of time and leaving little time for the study and writing of history.

Social science

Therefore, a new set of economic history by the use of economic historians have emerged who try to study the economic history by the use of the economic tools. At present, history is so closely interlinked with the study of economic problems that it would not be possible to reconstruct history without knowledge of the relevant economic problems.

In the present century the writing of history has been greatly influenced by the statistical data. With the invention of computers, the collection of statistical data has become possible. Though the conclusion drawn on the basis of the data may be known to the historians on the basis of the impressionistic evidence, which does reduce the value because it provides a concrete evidence for a previously held thesis.

This type of detailed investigation enables the historians to understand the different facts of the past life. A good historical writing is described as: History and sociology are intimately related and a number of sociologists like Auguste Comte are also important figure in the development of historical studies. Karl Marx was also a great historian and sociologist. Both History and Sociology are concerned with the study of man in society and differed only with regard to their approach.

In the recent years it was realized that a fruitful interaction between the two disciplines was possible and Emile Durkheim, Max Weber acknowledge the initial dependence of sociology upon history. Although, history too benefits from the synthesis produced by the sociologists. Sociologists exercised profound influence on the study of history by developing the certain narrow areas of human activity. They adopted the sampling techniques and develop their tools with a view to minimize the subjective element.

Therefore, it is necessary for the historians to know about the physical sciences. A historian have to have enough knowledge of these natural sciences and have these natural sciences affected human civilization. Marc Block emphasis that it is necessary to have an integrated kind of various development that have aken place. An integrated historythe annals school talk in terms of this. A historian cannot limit the scope of history. This is a holistic approach and hoe the relationship beteen history and other disciplines of social science have developed.

There have been questions raised whether history can be a science. There has been a argument tha history can be a science and there is a positive argument that history can be a science. Today, history is accepted as social science. Scientific attitudes in history goes back to the time of Thycydides. He was perhaps one of the earliest historians who tried to separate histry from poetics and history frtom narratives.

He began to follw the model of the development of the science of medicine. Hippocrati school — school of physicists and doctors. He began to model his own approach in the pioneers of medical school.

He emphacizes the need for maintaining regular records and making observations so that they would arrive at accurate diagnosis. In fact, from the time of Greek historians, the idea that. In the 19th century, this argument, the argument that history can be scientific becomes even more emphatic because it was the age od sicene.

But history face a lot of opposition. The major question is that it is impossible for history to have a valid system analysis beause there is a continous relationship between the observer historian and the observed. It has been a phenomenon which is not present in the natural sciences.

A history can never be detached from the study of his study.

relationship of history and other disciplines in education

And therefore, for all other social sciences also, it is very difficult to arrive at any validity. Therefore, it has been argued that because the diff. It is impossible for history and other social scientists to arrive at objective conclusions whereas natural scientists can arrive at objective conclusions.

This is a very comples argument. Can history be a science. Science and the scientific method is characterized by a number of assumptions. If all these these things are present in history, history can be studied scientifically.

Scientists are expected to formulate and verify empirical generalizations, develop a systematic theory and finally explain and predict. It has been often argued that history does not or cannot have one or more of the characteristics mentioned above. One argument against the possibility of a science of history calims that the historical phenomena are so cmplex that no regularities can be discovered in them. The natural scientists are able to discover relationship and construc theories because what they observe are less complex.

The point that is sought to be emphasized in this is that if historical phenomena are so complex that they cannot be organized into discoverable relationhips, thenm, there can be no scientific explanations or productions of historical phenomena.

relationship of history and other disciplines in education

It must, however, be pointed out that the degree of complexity of existing phenomena is an empirical problem and not a logical question, and this is also debatable whether the social sciences are more complex than the natural sciences. From the fact that is difficult to sought out historical factors and measure relationships one cannot logically conclude that the discovery of generalizations is impossible, It is not denied that regular relationships exist.

It is true, every historian knows how difficult it is to find order in the world of history. But thi des not prevent the historian from attempting to find generalizations nd succeed in doing so.

  • Relationship of History with other Sciences | Study of History

All scientists, natural or social, realize that no complete description or explanations of any empirical phenomena is possible. Thus, it is unfair to criticize history for something which is true even to the physical science. This means that those who hold up this argument and fit for freedom of the will are usually saying that people are able to act without external restrainsts.

In other words, free choice is uncaused. But it is difficult to accep thtat what people do is not determined by the sort of people they are or certain motives. And without accepting that events have causes, he whole attempt to describe and explain the world of history may be given up.

This position, therefore, strikes directly at the first assumption opf the model of science, and just as a natural scientist assume some form of determinism, the social scientist, including historians must also assume some form of determinism or law of Universal Causation.

The main diference between the natural and social sciencesis that the practitioners of the natural sciences do not have to deal with values at all phases of their work, but social scientist have to do so from the very observations becvasue hey are dealing with people.

The case is somewhat different with conservatism and radicalism in the century. Conservatives, beginning with Burke and continuing through Hegel and Matthew Arnold to such minds as John Ruskin later in the century, disliked both democracy and industrialism, preferring the kind of tradition, authority, and civility that had been, in their minds, displaced by the two revolutions.


Theirs was a retrospective view, but it was a nonetheless influential one, affecting a number of the central social scientists of the century, among them Comte and Tocqueville and later Weber and Durkheim. The radicals accepted democracy but only in terms of its extension to all areas of society and its eventual annihilation of any form of authority that did not spring directly from the people as a whole. And although the radicals, for the most part, accepted the phenomenon of industrialism, especially technology, they were uniformly antagonistic to capitalism.

Matthew Arnold, detail of an oil painting by G. Watts; in the National Portrait Gallery, London Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London These ideological consequences of the two revolutions proved extremely important to the social sciences, for it would be difficult to identify a social scientist in the century—as it would a philosopher or a humanist —who was not, in some degree at least, caught up in ideological currents.

Tylor and Lewis Henry Morganone has before one persons who were engaged not merely in the study of society but also in often strongly partisan ideology. Some were liberals, some conservatives, others radicals.

All drew from the currents of ideology that had been generated by the two great revolutions. New intellectual and philosophical tendencies It is important also to identify three other powerful tendencies of thought that influenced all of the social sciences. The first is a positivism that was not merely an appeal to science but almost reverence for science; the second, humanitarianism; the third, the philosophy of evolution.

The positivist appeal of science was to be seen everywhere. The rise of the ideal of science in the 17th century was noted above. The 19th century saw the virtual institutionalization of this ideal—possibly even canonization. The great aim was that of dealing with moral values, institutions, and all social phenomena through the same fundamental methods that could be seen so luminously in such areas as physics and biology. Prior to the 19th century, no very clear distinction had been made between philosophy and science, and the term philosophy was even preferred by those working directly with physical materials, seeking laws and principles in the fashion of Sir Isaac Newton or William Harvey —that is, by persons whom one would now call scientists.

In the 19th century, in contrast, the distinction between philosophy and science became an overwhelming one. Virtually every area of human thought and behaviour was considered by a rising number of persons to be amenable to scientific investigation in precisely the same degree that physical data were.

More than anyone else, it was Comte who heralded the idea of the scientific treatment of social behaviour. His Cours de philosophie positive published in English as The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comtepublished in six volumes between andsought to demonstrate irrefutably not merely the possibility but the inevitability of a science of humanity, one for which Comte coined the word sociology and that would do for humans as social beings exactly what biology had already done for humans as biological animals.

But Comte was far from alone. There were many in the century to join in his celebration of science for the study of society. Roger-Viollet Humanitarianismthough a very distinguishable current of thought in the century, was closely related to the idea of a science of society. For the ultimate purpose of social science was thought by almost everyone to be the welfare of society, the improvement of its moral and social condition. Humanitarianism, strictly defined, is the institutionalization of compassion; it is the extension of welfare and succour from the limited areas in which these had historically been found, chiefly family and village, to society at large.

One of the most notable and also distinctive aspects of the 19th century was the constantly rising number of persons, almost wholly from the middle class, who worked directly for the betterment of society.

In the many projects and proposals for relief of the destituteimprovement of slums, amelioration of the plight of the insane, the indigentand imprisoned, and other afflicted minorities could be seen the spirit of humanitarianism at work. All kinds of associations were formed, including temperance associations, groups and societies for the abolition of slavery and of poverty and for the improvement of literacy, among other objectives.

Humanitarianism and social science were reciprocally related in their purposes. All that helped the cause of the one could be seen as helpful to the other. The third of the intellectual influences is that of evolution. It affected every one of the social sciences, each of which was as much concerned with the development of things as with their structures.

An interest in development was to be found in the 18th century, as noted earlier.

relationship of history and other disciplines in education

But this interest was small and specialized compared with 19th-century theories of social evolution. But it is very important to recognize that ideas of social evolution had their own origins and contexts. The important point, in any event, is that the idea or the philosophy of evolution was in the air throughout the century, as profoundly contributory to the establishment of sociology as a systematic discipline in the s as to such fields as geologyastronomy, and biology.

Evolution was as permeative an idea as the Trinity had been in medieval Europe. The first was the drive toward unification, toward a single, master social science, whatever it might be called. The second tendency was toward specialization of the individual social sciences. If, clearly, it is the second that has triumphed, with the results to be seen in the disparatesometimes jealous, highly specialized disciplines seen today, the first was not without great importance and must also be examined.

What emerges from the critical rationalism of the 18th century is not, in the first instance, a conception of need for a plurality of social sciences, but rather for a single science of society that would take its place in the hierarchy of the sciences that included the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology.

When, in the s, Comte wrote calling for a new science, one with humans as social animals as its subject, he assuredly had but a single encompassing science of society in mind—not a congeries of disciplines, each concerned with some single aspect of human behaviour in society.

The same was true of Bentham, Marx, and Spencer. All of these thinkers, and there were many others to join them, saw the study of society as a unified enterprise. They would have scoffed, and on occasion did, at any notion of a separate economics, political science, sociology, and so on.

Society is an indivisible thing, they would have argued; so, too, must be the study of society. It was, however, the opposite tendency of specialization or differentiation that won out.

No matter how the century began, or what were the dreams of a Comte, Spencer, or Marx, when the 19th century ended, not one but several distinct, competitive social sciences were to be found. Aiding this process was the development of the colleges and universities. With hindsight it might be said that the cause of universities in the future would have been strengthened, as would the cause of the social sciences, had there come into existence, successfully, a single curriculum, undifferentiated by field, for the study of society.

What in fact happened, however, was the opposite. The growing desire for an elective system, for a substantial number of academic specializations, and for differentiation of academic degrees contributed strongly to the differentiation of the social sciences.

This was first and most strongly to be seen in Germanywhere, from about on, all scholarship and science were based in the universities and where competition for status among the several disciplines was keen. But by the end of the century the same phenomenon of specialization was to be found in the United States where admiration for the German system was very great in academic circles and, in somewhat less degree, in France and England.

Admittedly, the differentiation of the social sciences in the 19th century was but one aspect of a larger process that was to be seen as vividly in the physical sciences and the humanities.

No major field escaped the lure of specialization of investigation, and clearly, a great deal of the sheer bulk of learning that passed from the 19th to the 20th century was the direct consequence of this specialization.

Economics It was economics that first attained the status of a single and separate science, in ideal at least, among the social sciences. Hence the emphasis upon what came to be widely called laissez-faire. If, as it was argued, the processes of wealth operate naturally in terms of their own built-in mechanisms, then not only should these be studied separately but they should, in any wise polity, be left alone by government and society.

There were almost from the beginning, however, economists who diverged sharply from this laissez-faire, classical view.

Relationship of History with other Sciences | Study of History

In Germany especially there were the so-called historical economists. They proceeded less from the discipline of historiography than from the presuppositions of social evolution, referred to above. Such figures as Wilhelm Roscher and Karl Knies in Germany tended to dismiss the assumptions of timelessness and universality regarding economic behaviour that were almost axiomatic among the followers of Smith, and they strongly insisted upon the developmental character of capitalism, evolving in a long series of stages from other types of economy.

Also prominent throughout the century were those who came to be called the socialists. They too repudiated any notion of timelessness and universality in capitalism and its elements of private property, competitionand profit.

Political science Rivalling economics as a discipline during the century was political science.

relationship of history and other disciplines in education

If the Industrial Revolution seemed to supply all the problems frustrating the existence of a stable and humane society, the political-democratic revolution could be seen as containing many of the answers to these problems. It was the democratic revolution, especially in France, that created the vision of a political government responsible for all aspects of human society and, most important, possessed the power to wield this responsibility. This power, known as sovereigntycould be seen as holding the same relation to political science in the 19th century that capital held to economics.

To a very large number of political scientists, the aim of the discipline was essentially that of analyzing the varied properties of sovereignty. There was a strong tendency on the part of such political scientists as BenthamAustinand Mill in England and Francis Lieber and Woodrow Wilson in the United States to see the state and its claimed sovereignty over human lives in much the same terms in which classical economists saw capitalism.

Among political scientists there was the same historical-evolutionary dissent from this view, however, that existed in economics.