Bias plays a weighty role in history and in historiography and without it the study of history would not be where it is today One- sidedness lies at the heart of history1. In saying this however bias distorts the truth, creates a preset agenda, can create untrue facts and destroys the role of history in the development of political institutions and decisions. Bias does however play a small advantageous role in history, it allows for historians to study the perspectives of various individuals, to understand why societies as well as individuals did what they did and for what purpose. Bias is a ubiquitous section of history. Firstly, An Intelligent Persons Guide to History states that history is based on facts, and facts are based evidence. However there is bias in evidence, all people have a bias, there is a bias in the interpretation of evidence as well as in the creation of it.
Vincent also states that history itself has a bias towards the rich over the poor, the brave over the weak and the intellectuals over the stupid. Bias is built into the very foundations of history. Bias is useful for some historians as it shows perspective. The role of the historian is to recapture the reasons which lie beneath action by recovering experience2 and this is where the importance of bias and perspective become apparent. The study of perspective is imperative in understanding the reasons behind the actions of both individuals and society. The study of perspective is foremost as history is not just the study of the event but rather the catalyst or significance of that event. For example a historian does not only study Malcolm X and his abhor of the peaceful methods of Martin Luther King Jr.
Abstract Number 1 : Organizations as political systems: the managerial bias in Critical Perspective A number of approaches are offered for organizational science to solve the problem regarding organizational gap between theory and practice. The rational model can be considered as a dominant model on organizational science among the others with the purpose of defining organization as instruments ...
for obtaining civil liberties, but also the reasons behind his beliefs and perspective. In the words of Leopold von Ranke wie es eigentlich gewessen3. Although perspective and bias can play a useful role in the study of historical sources, the role it plays in the study of history and the creation of secondary sources is not so favorable. Bias is a prevalent section of history, It is the extreme difficulty of naming any historical writers who are not well and truly biased4. All people grow up and live with either a bias towards their society or a bias against their society, no one is neutral. Therefore as everyone has a perspective, bias finds its way into all historical writings.
The study of history is accepted and promoted as history is a response to the eternal desire of human beings to know about themselves5, people enjoy hearing about themselves, and therefore historians have a bias and agenda to make people feel good. The role of the historian is to interpret from recorded fact the elements of history that cannot be recorded6 and this interpretation is where bias comes in. We all hold different values, different backgrounds and interpret these facts with a bias mind. Further more historians are no longer rentiers, landowning gentry, monkish scribes, churchmen1 the profession of historiography is monopilised by academics2 and employees of the state. Historians are now less obligated to search for new truths yet the payroll historian is likely to look with tender sympathy upon the general system which produces salaries for people like him to live on3. Bias in historians is growing as they are now biased towards those institutions that endorse the historian. Venerable Bede taught that bias creates a preset agenda. Therefore when a biased historian begins his studies, along with his preset agenda, he espouses and utilizes those sources that are of use to him and support what his is trying to prove.
Those sources however that do not coincide with his agenda are disregarded. This then leads to biased and misleading history. Further more through studying the works of Venerable Bede we can see how his preset agenda and bias led to misleading history. Venerable Bede was a Christian monk who had a venerable faith in Jesus Christ, his bias and admiration of God led to the conception of various myths and miracles. His bias led to his works being discredited as he created misleading history. Through the historical works of Polybius we can see the link between political theory and history.
The aims and purpose of history can be evaluated through the study of historians and their audiences. The differing methods of collecting and using sources and evidence has caused countless debates between historians and other academics from Herodotus, the ‘Father of History’ to G.R Elton and his views on objective truth. Similarly Stuart Macintyre’s “The Historian’s ...
Political decisions are so often based on the mistakes or the success of previous institutions or individuals, how often does one hear dont want to make that same mistake again. Therefore because of the influence of history over the future of political theory, it holds power over men, over money, over opinion4. Historians are the foothills of society5 because of the power they hold. Because all history is biased, historians study misleading sources, and therefore the foothills of society are based on lies. There is no doubt that bias plays a significant role in history, the importance of this role is somewhat debatable. Bias can destroy history and historians yet it provides valuable insight into the mindset of figures of the past..