Mental and Moral Heredity in Royalty: A Statistical Study in History and Psychology

Mental and Moral Heredity in Royalty: A Statistical Study in History and Psychology

Read FREE!

Mental and Moral Heredity in Royalty: A Statistical Study in History and Psychology

Mental and Moral Heredity in Royalty: A Statistical Study in History and Psychology

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In the present work I hope to contribute something to our knowledge of the science of history. Perhaps there is not at present a science of history to contribute to. Some have contended that the complicated story of civilized man can never be subjected to exact analysis; and Froude has said in his essay, The Science of History, "It often seems to me as if history was like a child's box of letters with which we can spell any word we please. We have only to pick out such letters as we want, arrange them as we like, and say nothing about those which do not suit our purpose."

But the point I wish to make at the start is this, that there is a great difference between argument and proof. Are such methods as have been largely pursued in the past by philosophers bent on discovering causation in history, worthy of the name of science? Have their systems been such as to eliminate a personal bias? Have they been impartial, cold, and statistical? Have they first sought to collect all instances bearing upon the point under discussion, and then based their conclusions on mathematical results? I think those familiar with the writings of Buckle, Montesquieu, Carlyle, Hegel, Guizot, and other philosophers of history, will agree that no such scientific methods were pursued. Until history has been subjected to statistical analysis, let us withhold our opinion as to the possibility of arriving at positive conclusions in this most difficult and perplexing field of inquiry.

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