History as a science.

1. The definition of history as a science

History – a science that studies the laws and patterns of development (change) of human society through the study of important historical processes (especially in the field of development of statehood), based on the analysis of event history, social structure, economic relations and culture.

The most important objects of study are history society and people (society and the individual). The first is to the second as the general to the particular. Man is social and can not be considered in isolation from society.

History studies the historical processes, which are now completed. It is therefore particularly important to emphasize the difference between the history of political science and sociology, are engaged in the study of processes in the development of society, which has not yet ended.

The story of its origin appears as a means of human cognition and society, as a means of knowledge retention and transfer of social experience of mankind. The main goal of the scientific activities of historians is traditional – the expansion of our knowledge about the history and transmission of social experience.

Becoming a historian requires mastering the theory of knowledge, the mastery of techniques and knowledge of the methods of historical interpretation of the data. In this fact lies the “craft of the historian.”


History – a science exact science, its main task is to establish the truth. Stories are inherent attributes of the most important science – the laws, techniques, methodology. In order to become a historian not enough availability of professional knowledge (of ownership “craft”), but it is necessary and possession of outlook.
1. Establishing the truth is carried out through the identification and formulation of scientific laws, and this happens through the use of research methods based on scientific methodology. Hence, the task of science – the discovery, formulation and justification of the law. The path of development of historical science – the increase in the number of laws and the quality of their study, which consequently requires the improvement of scientific methodology. Historian – a specialist who knows the laws of history and methodology that can be used in their independent studies.

Knowledge of the historical process and the formulation of laws involves identifying the basic laws, which reflect the internal relationship and the relationship between the various manifestations of the historical process, define their essence and meaning.

2. Methods of Historical Research. Source study, textual, comparative. Exact methods – quantitative analysis.

3. Methodology. In Soviet times – Marxist-Leninist methodology of historical science. We often remember the methodology of the XIX century. – Positivism and methodology of the XX century.

4. Alignment modern historian humanistic and is based on universal values. It has long been observed that the improvement of professional skills in any profession is also the improvement of human qualities.

Historical processes together constitute the world-historical (general historical) process.

The most common historical law is the law of the unity of world-historical process. On the other laws will be discussed in the next chapter. This idea of historical laws allows scientific generalizations, which allow to solve a crucial problem of the historian’s work – to collect and transmit the social experience.

If no professional knowledge and skills of professional thinking the exact person remains a carrier narrow-minded thinking, reflect on it without a world historian easily becomes an ideologue. It Scylla and Charybdis, who manages to escape not all historians. What distinguishes the history of ideology, it is the task and, therefore, the way to achieve them. By ideology we mean the system of ideas that are offered for more efficient power management of society at a particular historical moment.
In the ideology of other tasks and other categorical apparatus.
An indication of the presence of the virus in the ideology of the historical text, as a rule, is the emotive estimated (negative – about other people, the positive – their) judgment of the historian action figures or historical figure, especially the highest power. The historian is not necessary to do so, its a different problem. Since these persons are the object of his study, through the acts of which he sets the objective processes taking place in the society under study. In modern literature so manifest vestiges of the Marxist approach.

It is no longer one will doubt that the historical science is on the verge of “ideology”, but the science of history is not an ideology. A clear division of science and ideology predetermined worldview historian and, in turn, determines the historian professionalism. Historian reveals common reasons ideologue justifies private investigation. Misunderstanding of this was due to the reduction of reflection in this direction and determined the crisis of historical science in Russia in the late twentieth century. At the beginning of the twenty-first century. It began to appear a lot of literature on this subject, reflecting the revival of reflection and exit from the crisis.
History as a social science

All sciences have as their objective knowledge of the world around us. But the story of how social science is different from the natural sciences. Natural sciences (. Physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) have as their objective the study of environmental laws of nature, and the public – of society, and the history – even the society in the past.

Nature – inanimate society – a set of huge number of animated, possessing intelligence, objects. “… Human actions, just as any other natural phenomenon, determined by the general laws of nature,” wrote Kant in the “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose” (Kant I. Works: in German and Russian languages . V.1. M, 1994)

We distinguish three main differences:
1. The laws in the social sciences are more probabilistic nature of the alleged than the laws of the natural sciences.
Hence, one of the features of history lies in the fact that historians much less possible to formulate a law. The result of the study is most often stated as a hypothesis. This is due to the impossibility of carrying out a direct experiment (see for yourself) and mediating the perception of reality source. Therefore, historical laws particularly difficult to formulate and justify. Therefore, in historical science it is particularly important fixation patterns.

2. The primary fixation “fact” is not carried out by the researcher and chronicler of the past – it is mediated by the written text, drawn up in the past.

3. inanimate nature does not have the reverse effect on the scientist, which has on it the society. Hence the importance of the ideological department of the tasks of historical fact.

The study of the historical process is happening and by logical reasoning (qualitative analysis) and by analyzing the mass of material (quantitative analysis of the obvious – economic indicators, to a non-obvious – ideas).

The main purpose of the study of history: a strictly scientific – a) analytical, ie, the establishment of laws and explanation of laws in this or that sphere of human society with the methods of historical research, and b) synthetic, ie presentation of the history of the social experience of the community as a part of the whole of humanity.

From the past came and retained their value two more goals: a study – the story of the events and phenomena that have occurred in the past; cautionary – the most ancient, extracting historical lessons.

2. The main components in the development and the study of history

Next, look at the main components of the study of history.
An event history
A study of event history begins with the familiarity with existing periodization, and ends with a refinement of the old or the new establishment. Periodization can be multiple levels, from the most general to private. The boundaries are marked by the completion of a period of one and beginning of other historical processes, a transition process in the same field to a new level.

The initial concepts used by the historian are 1. fact 2. event 3. process.
1. Historical fact – this is one action that is located in the historic space and historical time.

The historical fact is formulated as a simple statement, and includes: 1. the circumstances of time (when), 2. The fact the place (when), 3. the subject-object (who) 4. predicate-action (that did), 5. The addition-subject ( in relation to whom). Only the presence of these five components of historical information may be considered a fact. In the absence of one or more components by analytical procedures historian tries to install them. This is one of the most important (but not the only or primary) side of historical research.

Determination of historical fact, in particular, is simple instantiation judgment by specifying the exact time and location in space. For example, the Great Patriotic War (this subject) started (predicate) July 22, 1941 (this is an indication of the time) on the western border of the Soviet Union (this is an indication of the place in space). Such a proposition we can consider true. Hence, the establishment of the exact time and place in the space – the first task of the historian. And it happens as in the natural sciences, on the basis of the experiment.

Historical experiment – an analysis of the historical sources, conducted by the methods of historical research aimed at extracting historical facts contained in it explicit (in the form of statements) and hidden (not formulated in the form of statements) a. As in any science, this fact should be subjected to checking for the truth. “Caring about the facts of history – is to take care of the evidence.”

The study begins with the identification of historical facts, but are not limited to. This is the first step.
2. A few historical facts, ie, Action took place around the same time and in one place, constitute a historical event. Thus, the event comprises several historical facts. It often happens that a historian with a few facts guesses event, and first formulated the name of the event, and then begins to expand the circle of facts detailing it.

3. Next, on the basis of studies of a causal connection between the events identified in the established historian of human society development identifies the most important historical processes.

Most often, historians study the processes that relate to the different sides of occurrence, change and extinction of statehood. In the center of the study – issues gaining power and its transmission. Inside of one or more boards should celebrate the growth or decline periods (dynamics), stability or crisis (static).

The crisis may be caused by internal and external factors. Internal crisis may manifest itself in the form of a transfer of power crisis, rebellions nobility, food riots of farmers and others. The external crisis may be caused by an attack from the outside. The internal crisis may give rise to the need for change. Successful transformations can be carried out in the early period and in the middle. Unsuccessful conversion – often at the end of the period.

Again, the most important result of the study of the historical process is the establishment of periodization – ie identifying the main stages in the development of the society. Knowledge of periodization allows you to make a coherent picture of the deployment of the historical process in time, it is a mainstay in the exposition of history and historians thought.

Periodization always several levels descending from the established scientific tradition-level period, a total of periodization of world history, to a predetermined level in a private investigator periodization (up to days or even hours).

Dedicated historical periods and reflect the stages of development of the historical process, respectively, referred to the “depth” of periodization and reflects our understanding of the studied historical process. Therefore, by making a periodization begins and ends with any historical research.
Principles of periodization
Typically, a reference in the preparation of the periodization of any community are a few boards sovereigns, at least one rule, if it is long.

The lower limit in our course of lectures is considered to be a short board (up to five years). We proceed from the assumption that the short and especially sverhkratkoe board is the most subtle indicator of the crisis, which actually marks the end of the period.
What kind of crisis in question. As the attention of the historian in describing the historical process confined to the media authority and the evolution of political institutions, and that it is a crisis of authority (even if unrealized explicitly) as the first symptom, the earliest manifestation of the crisis in society.

Signs of acute crisis is a short reign from several months to 2-3 years because this time the most intense struggle for power when the governor position most vulnerable to the 4, they are strengthened markedly.

In this regard, we note that social conflict is less reliable manifestation of the crisis, as crises, which are analyzed by the historian does not always lead to the obvious economic consequences, and the economic consequences of crises, if they are, do not always lead to social conflict.

We add that if social conflict and has been in the history, it is not always reflected in the records and rarely reflected in the chronicle records. The sources are often a manifestation of the struggle for power between the representatives of the nobility, not social voluntary initiative of producer groups.

An important conclusion
Indeed, whether we like or not in the presentation of the history of ancient and medieval history of society is measured by the governor to the governor. Apparently, and as applied to modern and contemporary history, you can say the same thing. Now the history of England the countdown is over, Prime Ministers, Presidents of America, the Soviet Union by the secretary general, etc. The era of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin era in the modern history of the same differ significantly and we as contemporaries feel it subtly. In other words, it is the most stable factor in the time frame of the historical society, which we know from written sources.

Therefore, in the first story of the history textbook the most important aspect is the study of the institute of higher power. From this perspective, the proposed course of lectures focusing on the three most important aspects of it: gaining power, save or send. The historian must remember that power is always someone struggling. Who – the camp of supporters of the supreme ruler, and groups of applicants. They are essential components of such a story.

Spiritual Culture
In the area of the whole society: a. Religious – religion and beliefs, notions of the sacred; b. Secular – science, art forms, outlook and worldview.

In the early stages of development of human society, the sphere of religious culture is prevalent. As we approach the modern era, the relationship between changes – increases the value of secular culture and rational knowledge (those that do not require proof of faith and experiment).

In the sphere of the individual: historical psychology. We study the way in the minds of the individual, especially combined secular and religious culture of his time and how it influenced the actions of historical figures. Accordingly, returning to the first stage of the study, we can deepen the understanding of the history of event due to ideas about what actions the participants of historical events were determined.

It must be emphasized that all four components are complementary, give holistic view of historical research, not one of them, a study would be incomplete and unfinished. Another question is that their ratio may vary depending on a research task. The investigator must feel in the best of their relationship and seek a holistic presentation of his material.

The specifics of this stage of development of historical science, compared with the previous one, is the need for greater specialization of historians. An analysis of the social, economic and cultural history are now more than ever requires special knowledge and special training. Now that the planned exit from the ideological crisis facing many historians of 90th., It is evident the importance of a uniform examination of all four components.

But the main, in our view, in the history of Oriental Study remains the restoration of event history.