"Theodore Porter's portrait of Pearson extends from religious crisis and sexual tensions to metaphysical and even mathematical anxieties. Pearson sought to reconcile reason with enthusiasm and to achieve the impersonal perspective of science without sacrificing complex individuality. Even as he longed to experience nature directly and intimately, he identified science with renunciation and positivistic detachment. Porter finds a turning point in Pearson's career, where his humanistic interests gave way to statistical ones, in his Grammar of Science (1892), in which he attempted to establish scientific method as the moral educational basis for a refashioned culture."--BOOK JACKET.
When we read a history we believe ourselves to be reading cold, hard, facts of the events that took place and how they occurred. But there is no real, truthful way to know the approach our historian has taken with the historical sources. This book deals with the uncertainty in writing history in the context of Irish history in particular. Regan argues in this book that the notion of elision, simply ignoring unhelpful evidence, threatens Irish history today. Regan believes that some historians have ignored unhelpful facts that perhaps do not further their point or perhaps contradict them altogether. Each chapter focuses on a period of Irish history that Regan believes to be inconsistent or incomplete in its facts. He asks the controversial questions about the period of history such as why do some historians deny or marginalise the British threat of war and re-conquest in 1922?, why do so many Irish historians describe Michael Collins as a constitutionalist or a democrat when the evidence argues otherwise? Was the Irish Civil War really fought between democrats defending the state, against dictators attempting its overthrow? Did the new state briefly experience a military-dictatorship under Collins in 1922? Thinking historically is not about learning history or accepting the past as it is presented to us it is, as Regan argues in his thought-provoking work, about developing the critical skills to interpret history for ourselves.
Her Life Historical offers a major reconsideration of one of the most popular narrative forms in late medieval England—the lives of female saints—and one of the period's primary modes of interpretation—exemplarity. With lucidity and insight, Catherine Sanok shows that saints' legends served as vehicles for complex considerations of historical difference and continuity in an era of political crisis and social change. At the same time, they played a significant role in women's increasing visibility in late medieval literary culture by imagining a specifically feminine audience. Sanok proposes a new way to understand exemplarity—the repeated injunction to imitate the saints—not simply as a prescriptive mode of reading but as an encouragement to historical reflection. With groundbreaking originality, she argues that late medieval writers and readers used religious narrative, and specifically the legends of female saints, to think about the historicity of their own ethical lives and of the communities they inhabited. She explains how these narratives were used in the fifteenth century to negotiate the urgent social concerns occasioned by political instability and dynastic conflict, by the threat of heresy and the changing status of public religion, and by new kinds of social mobility and forms of collective identity. Her Life Historical also offers a fresh account of how women came to be visible participants in late medieval literary culture. The expectation that they formed a distinct audience for saints' lives and moral literature allowed medieval women to surface in the historical record as book owners, patrons, and readers. Saints' lives thereby helped to invent the idea of a gendered audience with a privileged affiliation and a specific response to a given narrative tradition.