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Re: [ontolog-forum] [ontology-summit] Estimating number of all known fac

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 15:25:54 -0400
Message-id: <4FBFDCC2.5070606@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 5/25/2012 2:16 PM, Chris Menzel wrote:
> Of course, the very fact that recorded histories are often full of
> *lies* implies that the actual historical *truths* are being ignored or
> distorted. No grist for the anti-realist's mill here. Move along. :-)    (01)

I very strongly agree.    (02)

The following claim is at the level of a joke on a late-night talk show:    (03)

    "History is the lie that historians agree on."    (04)

It has enough appearance of truth to get a laugh from the audience.
But anybody who has read any history beyond what is approved by
the local school board quickly learns    (05)

  1. Many statements are firmly grounded on facts, but any
     statement can be questioned on some detail.    (06)

  2. Historians take great delight in exposing the errors of
     other historians.    (07)

  3. Every history book, even the most carefully and most honestly
     researched and written, omits or misinterprets many facts.    (08)

  4. New discoveries are constantly being made that force a review and
     reinterpretation of many of the most widely believed statements
     by many of the most authoritative historians of the past.    (09)

  5. But a great deal of what was considered dubious in old histories
     (going back to Herodotus, for example) is often corroborated
     by new evidence dug up by archaeologists.    (010)

Summary:  There are facts, even about history, and it is possible
to find new evidence about any time period that can corroborate,
revise, or improve our understanding of the past, recent or ancient.    (011)

John    (012)

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