historical stuff by Gareth Millward

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Glossary

Agenda

02/09/2016

Literally, agenda means “things to be done”. In political terms, however, it has come to mean either a set of priorities for a particular organisation or – increasingly – the hidden motives of an individual or group. Related Posts#PostConsensusBritain (12 Sep 2016) Yes, we probably need to better define “neoliberalism” (1 Sep 2016) Anti-vaccination and Read More

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Bias

27/08/2016

Bias is when a source, deliberately or not, shows an inclination towards a particular group or person. Related Posts2011 – The Arab Spring (14 Sep 2015) 2010 – Wikileaks (7 Sep 2015) 2009 – H1N1 (31 Aug 2015) 2008 – The Great Recession (24 Aug 2015) 2007 – The iPhone (17 Aug 2015)

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Paradigm Shift

09/08/2012

Somehow, the practice of astronomy, physics, chemistry or biology normally fails to evoke the controversies over fundamentals that today seem endemic among, say, psychologists or sociologists. Attempting to discover the source of that difference led me to recognize the role in scientific research of what I have since called “paradigms.” These I take to be Read More

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Progress

09/08/2012

See also: modern (modernity) In history, progress is the belief that a sequence of events leads to a particular thing becoming better. For example, we have the narrative that in the United States black people were slaves in the 1800s; then they were emancipated in the 1860s; then segregation ended in the 1960s; then a Read More

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Modern (Modernity)

09/08/2012

Modernity is defined by some (but not necessarily all) of the following: the rise of the “nation state” the accumulation of capital rather than subsistence the rise of rational inquiry urbanisation and industrialisation and, as a result of the above, specialisation of labour the decline of “magic” and supernatural explanations of social and natural phenomena Read More

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David Starkey

08/08/2012

David Starkey n. 1. A figure of hate for all serious historians who makes the profession seem populated by pompous, border-line-racist, white, upper-class fools. 2. A role model for all historians who would love to make as much money as him with as little academic work as possible. Interestingly, Starkey’s comments on Newsnight were perhaps Read More

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History

08/08/2012

History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history that we make today. Henry Ford Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot Read More

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Modern (history)

03/08/2012

Modern history is not actually that easy to define. At Oxford, traditionally modern means “not ancient” – so anything after the Romans buggered off home in the fifth century CE. This would encompass mediaeval history (roughly from about the fifth or sixth century to the end of the fifteenth): which isn’t very modern at all. Read More

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