Explore BrainMass

Meaning of History

Outline the various approaches to the meaning of history with references included.

Solution Preview

On History: Meaning and Construct

History as seen, experienced and popularly referred to is the summative story of the past. It can be comprehensive and encompassing, like the history of the world, or particular, the life history of an individual or a history a people. Essentially, it is the study of the past. It is one of the most familiar of the social sciences being that history is something we have become acquainted with from primary school. The Greeks have referred to history as an inquiry of the past as it relates to humanity, to human experience. Thus when we say history - we are talking about human history, an umbrella term that notes, lists, inquires and refers to human experience based on written or textual record. History follows a specific measure of time, identifying the period and the social situation of the human experience so as to build a picture of human story and human development.


If we follow the academic approach to history, the 'social science' behind the study, then we are referring to a scientific investigation of human experience following historiography. Academics who study history and have been trained in historiography are called historians. It's not just about recording what is seen or experienced, it's about following a procedure that can be validated, that can be called reliable. ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advice in tackling the task (see above) which asks to discuss the meaning of history and explore the various approaches to defining and 'doing' history as a science. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.