„Those who say that all historical accounts are ideological constructs (which is one version of the idea that there is really no historical truth) rely on some story which must itself claim historical truth. They show that supposedly "objective" historians have tendentiously told their stories from some particular perspective; they describe, for example, the biasses that have gone into constructing various histories of the United States. Such an account, as a particular piece of history, may very well be true, but truth is a virtue that is embarrassingly unhelpful to a critic who wants not just to unmask past historians of America but to tell us that at the end of the line there is no historical truth. It is remarkable how complacent some "deconstructive" histories are about the status of the history that they deploy themselves.“
— Jean De La Fontaine French poet, fabulist and writer. 1621 - 1695
Context: History some truths contains, which well may serve For lessons. In my work you will observe Ev'ry thing speaks — yea e'en the very fish — And what they say, to ev'ry man a dish Serves up; and I of animals make choice That men may get instruction from their voice. Book I (1668), Dedication "To Monseigneur the Dauphin".
„Written history may, in the course of its narrative, use some of the laws established by the various sciences, but its own task remains that of relating the essential sequence of historical action and, qua history, to tell what happened, not why.“
— Lloyd deMause American thinker 1931
Ch. 2, The Independence of Psychohistory, p. 85.
„The mistakes of history might be gradually forgotten, but historical truth cannot be forgotten, since forgetting history could lead to the recurrence of the same mistakes.“
— Ma Ying-jeou Taiwanese politician, president of the Republic of China 1950
Ma Ying-jeou (2015) cited in: " President presents ROC flag to son of war heroine http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aedu/201507030021.aspx" in Focus Taiwan, 3 July 2015. Statement made in launching the two exhibitions on Chinese people's lives during Second Sino-Japanese War, 3 July 2015.
„A further turn is to be found in some "unmasking" accounts of natural science, which aim to show that its pretensions to deliver the truth are unfounded, because of social forces that control its activities. Unlike the case of history, these do not use truths of the same kind; they do not apply science to the criticism of science. They apply the social sciences, and typically depend on the remarkable assumption that the sociology of knowledge is in a better position to deliver truth about science than science is to deliver truth about the world.“
— Bernard Williams English moral philosopher 1929 - 2003
„I am convinced, in short, that the importance of truth for the kind of historical enquiries I am considering has been much exaggerated. I take this to be a product of the fact that so much of the meta-historical discussion has hinged around the analysis of scientific beliefs. In such cases the question of truth may perhaps be of some interest. But in most of the cases investigated by historians of ideas, the suggestion that we need to consider the truth of the beliefs under examination is, I think, likely to strike the historian as strange.“
— Quentin Skinner British historian 1940
„As early as World War I, American historians offered themselves to President Woodrow Wilson to carry out a task they called "historical engineering," by which they meant designing the facts of history so that they would serve state policy.“
— Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928
Context: Pointing to the massive amounts of propaganda spewed by government and institutions around the world, observers have called our era the age of Orwell. But the fact is that Orwell was a latecomer on the scene. As early as World War I, American historians offered themselves to President Woodrow Wilson to carry out a task they called "historical engineering," by which they meant designing the facts of history so that they would serve state policy. In this instance, the U. S. government wanted to silence opposition to the war. This represents a version of Orwell's 1984, even before Orwell was writing. in: Wendy McElroy, Carl Watner (1987) The Voluntaryist, Nr. 23-41 (1987), p. 120; Republished in: " Propaganda Review, 1987 http://www.zpub.com/un/chomsky.html," at zpub.com, accessed May 23, 2014.
„But History was against me. History is right, objectively speaking. I'm just a historical dead end. I hope at least that my fate will serve as an example to you all and to posterity.“
— Eugéne Ionesco Romanian playwright 1909 - 1994
Candor from Macbett (1972)
— Kobe Bryant American basketball player 1978
„Presumably those who profess and call themselves Christians believe their religion to be in some sense true; but in what sense?... The truth of the Christian faith is the truth of a faith, or a way of life which shows itself true... for those who live it.“
— Donald M. MacKinnon British philosopher 1913 - 1994
"Our Contemporary Christ," in Borderland Theology and Other Essays (1968), p. 82
„The term "history" can refer to a variety of things. "History" can refer simply to the flow of events in the past that are perceived to have had some sort of ongoing significance. It is taken for granted that not everything that happens in a human life is of "historic" significance.“
— Ben Witherington III American religion academic 1951
„It is the historical necessity, if there is a historical necessity in history, that a new decade of electronic television should follow to the past decade of electronic music.“
— Nam June Paik American video art pioneer 1932 - 2006
Nam June Paik (1965), as cited in: David Dunn, " A History of Electronic Music Pioneers http://vasulka.org/Kitchen/PDF_Eigenwelt/pdf/021-062.pdf." ders.(Hrsg.), Eigenwelt der Apparate-Welt.(Katalog), Linz (1992): 21-62.
— Julian Barnes, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters
„Only the childish and immature mind can lose by learning that much in the Old Testament is poetical and that some of the stories are not true historically. Poetry is a superior medium for conveying religious truth.“
— Ralph Vary Chamberlin American biologist (1879-1967) 1879 - 1967
"Some Early Hebrew Legends" (1910)
„These reminiscences are neither history, biography nor a diary, although they comprise something of each of these categories. What is presented is far from a complete account even of all of the incidents in which I had a part, but merely my recollections of events, refreshed by a reference to my own memoranda and a free use of staff studies and historical records made under my direction and supervision. It may assist the future historian when he seeks to account for the motives and reasons which influenced some of the actions in the great drama of war. It is also my hope that it will prove of some interest to the rising generations, who may learn thereform that a country and government such as ours is worth fighting for, and dying for, if need be.“
— Douglas MacArthur U.S. Army general of the army, field marshal of the Army of the Philippines 1880 - 1964
„The last hundred years has seen a general decline in the democratic idea. If there be anybody left to whom this historical truth appears a paradox, it is only because during that period nobody has been taught history, least of all the history of ideas.“
— G. K. Chesterton English mystery novelist and Christian apologist 1874 - 1936
Context: The last hundred years has seen a general decline in the democratic idea. If there be anybody left to whom this historical truth appears a paradox, it is only because during that period nobody has been taught history, least of all the history of ideas. If a sort of intellectual inquisition had been established, for the definition and differentiation of heresies, it would have been found that the original republican orthodoxy had suffered more and more from secessions, schisms, and backslidings. The highest point of democratic idealism and conviction was towards the end of the eighteenth century, when the American Republic was 'dedicated to the proposition that all men are equal.' It was then that the largest number of men had the most serious sort of conviction that the political problem could be solved by the vote of peoples instead of the arbitrary power of princes and privileged orders. "The Future of Democracy" http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/what-i-saw-in-america/19/