How legitimate can history be if every document that has ever been written has some bias behind its writing? To what extent can we trust historical books written in a time we otherwise would have no knowledge of? How certain can we be that the "history" we're taught actually happened? And finally how do historians classify something as historical, what qualifications does a document require to become historical?
Thanks for the help, Alex.
Why do you think inquiry into what happened in the past is anydifferent from inquiry about what's happening on the other side of theMoon? In both cases, we lack direct access to the facts. We must makeinferences, based on many assumptions, from what we do observe to whatactually was (or is) the case. Do you think history is differentbecause there's something different about the past? (We could inprinciple visit the other side of the Moon, but we simply cannot --barring time travel -- visit the past.) Or do you think history isdifferent because it focuses on the actions of people, and some kind ofdistortion always infects our reasoning about people that does not leadus astray in our inquiries into the natural world?