Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Detail, Please!

"In the last resort the historian's explanation of what has happened is not a general piece of reasoning at all. He explains the French Revolution by discovering exactly what it was that occurred; and if at any point we need further elucidation all that he can do is to take us into greater detail, and make us see in still more definite concreteness what really did take place." -- Herbert Butterfield, The Whig Interpretation of History, p. 72.

There is not in history a set of "facts" and a separate explanation for why they occurred: the explanation simply is a more and more detailed view of the facts.

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