Friday, August 22, 2014

Agatha Christie could have been a great historian

I have noted before how Collingwood compared the work of the historian to that of a detective. And I have noted how Agatha Christie, whether she had read any philosophy of history or not, seemed to grasp this as well. Here is one more piece of evidence:

"To be sure means that when the right solution is reached, everything falls into place. You perceive that in no other way could things have happened." -- The Clocks, p. 236

That is just how an historian knows that she has solved an historical problem: The right solution makes all of the evidence fall into place. (Of course, new evidence may come to light, and the historian will have to go back to the drawing board.)

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