Unbiased History is a Unicorn

A few years ago, I came across a book with a curious title: The Truths of History:A Fair, Unbiased, Impartial, Unprejudiced, and Conscientious Study of History.  The author tries tries to one-up Fox New’s “fair and balanced” motto, but of course, labelled yourself “fair” or your views “unbiased” does not make them so. TruthsofHistory

First of all, all views are biased. The whole point of having a view, or a perspective, is that it is from a particular angle based on your experience and standpoint. An “unbiased” history is literally impossible, it is logically impossibility, like a four-side triangle. It is not the case that there is out there some perfectly moral person, who hold no previous experiences that will bias them in one direction or another. A blank mind is incapable of writing history because it cannot balance evidence.

To be fair, “bias” is often used to mean “undue bias” with the recognition that no one is free from perspective. But, again, this begs the question of what amount of bias is undue.

There are people out there who think they have some unique insight or understanding of the truth of history.  These are the same people who confidently fill the online comment sections of newspapers with their proud declamations of right and wrong.

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