chapter
11 Pages

Introduction

Disciplining history in early modern Spain
ByCesc Esteve

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts given in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book reconsiders the dominant view of the relationship between censorship and historiography. It explores the ways in which the discourse of censorship may also have conditioned the way in which history was understood, valued, and practised as a profession, a cultural and social institution. The book show that historians, philosophers of history, and censors of historiographic works in early modern Spain all shared the same convictions and criteria concerning the principles, and objectives of the discipline, and that these premises and methods from different domains converged to regulate the modes of understanding, writing, reading, and censoring history. It starts from the conviction that, if we are to fully understand the social and intellectual development of history, we should assume that the polemical use and ideological exploitation of historical knowledge were constitutive values of that knowledge rather than external obstacles to its progress.