chapter  8
20 Pages

DISPUTES IN WORLD HISTORY

We have seen, in Chapter 3, that one of the habits of mind that historians work on involves the capacity to handle historical debates or differences in interpretation. Controversies over social issues are commonplace in our own day. Figuring out how to manage different views about past topics – from identifying what kinds of evidence are used, and how adequately, to assessing the logic of arguments, to exploring opportunities for analytical synthesis or compromise – can contribute to a vital intellectual skill that is important well beyond the history classroom. This chapter does not try to list all major or possible world his-

tory debates, for there is no agreed-upon list of Controversies That Students Must Know. Debates about periods and, even more, regions (and civilizational choices) have been covered in previous chapters.