Truth, Morality, and Meaning in History

By Paul T. Phillips

© 2019

In this important new book, Paul T. Phillips argues that most professional historians – aside from a relatively small number devoted to theory and methodology – have concerned themselves with particular, specialized areas of research, thereby ignoring the fundamental questions of truth, morality, and meaning. This is less so in the thriving general community of history enthusiasts beyond academia, and may explain, in part at least, history’s sharp decline as a subject of choice by students in recent years.

Phillips sees great dangers resulting from the thinking of extreme relativists and postmodernists on the futility of attaining historical truth, especially in the age of "post-truth." He also believes that moral judgment and the search for meaning in history should be considered part of the discipline’s mandate. In each section of this study, Phillips outlines the nature of individual issues and past efforts to address them, including approaches derived from other disciplines. This book is a call to action for all those engaged in the study of history to direct more attention to the fundamental questions of truth, morality, and meaning.

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Product Details

  • Series: UTP Insights
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP005389

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2019

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Quick Overview

This book is a call to action for all those engaged in the study of history to direct more attention to the fundamental questions of truth, morality, and meaning.

Truth, Morality, and Meaning in History

By Paul T. Phillips

© 2019

In this important new book, Paul T. Phillips argues that most professional historians – aside from a relatively small number devoted to theory and methodology – have concerned themselves with particular, specialized areas of research, thereby ignoring the fundamental questions of truth, morality, and meaning. This is less so in the thriving general community of history enthusiasts beyond academia, and may explain, in part at least, history’s sharp decline as a subject of choice by students in recent years.

Phillips sees great dangers resulting from the thinking of extreme relativists and postmodernists on the futility of attaining historical truth, especially in the age of "post-truth." He also believes that moral judgment and the search for meaning in history should be considered part of the discipline’s mandate. In each section of this study, Phillips outlines the nature of individual issues and past efforts to address them, including approaches derived from other disciplines. This book is a call to action for all those engaged in the study of history to direct more attention to the fundamental questions of truth, morality, and meaning.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: UTP Insights
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "In discussing history beyond the academy, Paul T. Phillips reveals the difficulty of maintaining high standards in a post-truth era."


    Anthony Brundage, Department of History, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    "Truth, Morality, and Meaning in History is a somewhat personalized reflection on the state of the current historical profession from an accomplished practitioner after retiring from academia. Arguing that there has been an emptying of higher meaning, morality, and even the questioning of absolute truth in the writing of history, this book calls for a return to the consideration of the philosophy of history among historians themselves, and provides a theistic challenge to existing historiography."


    Stephen Heathorn, Department of History, McMaster University
  • Author Information

    Paul T. Phillips is Senior Research Professor and Professor Emeritus in History at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Introduction

    1. Truth
    2. Morality
    3. Meaning
    4. History Beyond the Academy

    Conclusion

    Notes

    Index

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