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J.H Hexter, Rhetoric of history (from Doing History , 1971) PowerPoint Presentation
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J.H Hexter, Rhetoric of history (from Doing History , 1971). Language of historians

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J.H Hexter, Rhetoric of history (from Doing History, 1971)

  • Language of historians
  • Knowing v. communication “Communication through historiography requires historians to put into written words what they know experientially and diffusely about the past, to organize it into coherent and sequential statements in order to make it fully accessible first to themselves and then to others.”
  • Modes of explanation Historical narrative (the story) Historical analysis (argument)
  • Analysis of historiography (based on fidelity to the record) Macroanalysis (piece of historical writing as a whole) Microanalysis (any fragment of historical rhetoric) Analysis of structure (traits common to most historiography, such as footnotes, quotations and lists)
  • Theoretical implications rule-bound discipline rhetoric is part of historical writing
  • Conclusions Historical rhetoric is not the same as the rhetoric of science due to the nature of our inquiries: too many gaps to fill in/ignore.
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David Hackett Fischer, Historians’ Fallacies, 1970

  • INQUIRY Question-Framing Factual Verification Factual Significance
  • EXPLANATION Generalization Narration Causation Motivation Composition False Analogy
  • ARGUMENT Semantically Distortion (ambiguity, syntax, figurative language, accent/innuendo) Substantive Distraction (shifting from reasoned argument to something else…)