Rockville Maryland Discussion Group - Uses and Abuses of History

From: Don W.
Sent on: Sunday, August 29, 2010 10:46 PM
Topic Presenter - Don Evans

Topic overview: History is often used as a vehicle of national and religious myth making and, perhaps more innocently, provides the setting for historical fiction, both in print and film. Since all presentations of the past involve creative and selective reconstruction of available data, it is important to understand how competent presentations of the past (use) differ from incompetent or purely ideological ones (abuse). Among the questions I will discuss are: Understanding the various senses involved in "doing history," can history be "scientific"?, are there standards of truth in history-- can it be "objective"?, how history is abused, and how to distinguish "good" from "bad" history.

Don Evans has been long regarded as the most widely read and informed in-house philosopher within WASH. His personal library has over 5,000 books.

Robert Ahrens as usual will be hosting this third Friday of the month meeting. The meeting will start at 8 pm. People may arrive as early as 7:30 so that we can actually start at 8 pm. Please bring a small contribution of food and/or drink to be shared with the group. The home is in Rockville near Viers Mill and Aspen Hill Road. Transport to and from the Twinbrook Metro stop can be arranged if needed.

Mr. Ahrens address and phone numbers are not posted here to preserve the privacy of his home. Those details will be emailed the week of the meeting to those who are coming (see note below). Affirmative RSVPs should be posted before 8 pm the prior Thursday to allow time to notify all attendees.

Note: an occasional problem with Meetup emails is that some spam filters will preclude delivery of Meetup email. If you RSVP Yes and want the email informing you of a meeting held in a private home this is a problem. To prevent this a member can add [address removed] to their personal email addresses. If a member does not receive the directions to for a Friday meeting by Tuesday evening he/she needs to directly contact to the organizer. Use the Meetup option for this. A phone call to[masked] leaving your email address is another option. Posting a comment saying that you did not receive the directions (without including your personal email address) is not helpful since if your spam filter stopped the first email it will also stop subsequent email. We want people to be comfortable in opening up their homes to other meetup members and this technical difficulty is a small price to pay to preserve the privacy of those who host event in their homes.

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