Monday, June 30, 2014

The historian is like a detective

Collingwood likened the historian to a detective in The Idea of History: both regard narratives from the past not as "the facts," but as evidence to be analyzed to get at the facts. Agatha Christie seemed to understand the resemblance as well:

"You are at least right in this -- not to take what has been written down as necessarily a true narrative. What has been written may have been written deliberately to mislead." -- Murder in Retrospect, p. 183

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Mathematics

"If your approach to mathematics is mechanical not mystical, you're not going to go anywhere." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb