How useful do you feel an understanding of philosophy is to the study of history? I am a history graduate on my way to completing a MA and PhD in this field. More and more my studies have got me contemplating philosophical issues, particularly morality. Sometimes it is difficult to not be overwhelmed with the horrors that history holds, to wonder how people can possibly act in such fundamentaly immoral ways towards each other. I find myself struggling with the debate long-standing in history as to whether as a historian it is inherent in my role to morally condemn certain actions in history or whether I should accept that I can never understand the position these people were in, therefore have no right to judge their consequent actions. While I'm still struggling to decide on this (perhaps somebody could help me?), I have slowly begun to think that an understanding of philosophy is as crucial to being a good historian as the other traditional techniques. I was wondering how many philosophers would agree with this view?
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