This book introduces students to ethics in historiography through an exploration of how historians in different times and places have explained how history ought to be written and how those views relate to different understandings of ethics.

No two histories are the same. The book argues that this is a good thing because the differences between histories are largely a matter of ethics. Looking to histories made across the world and from ancient times until today, readers are introduced to a wide variety of approaches to the ethics of history, including well-known ethical approaches, such as the virtue ethics of universal historians, and utilitarian approaches to collective biography writing while also discovering new and emerging ideas in the ethics of history. Through these approaches, readers are encouraged to challenge their ideas about whether humans are separate from other living and non-living things and whether machines and animals can write histories. The book looks to the fundamental questions posed about the nature of history making by Indigenous history makers and asks whether the ethics at play in the global variety of histories might be better appreciated in professional codes of conduct and approaches to research ethics management.

Opening up the topic of ethics to show how historians might have viewed ethics differently in the past, the book requires no background in ethics or history theory and is open to all of those with an interest in how we think about good histories.

chapter 1|10 pages

Good histories

Size: 0.09 MB

chapter 2|18 pages

Universal histories and virtue ethics

Elias Lönnrot | Herodotus | Diodorus Siculus | Paulus Orosius | Rashīd al-Dīn Ṭabīb | Atâ-Malek Juvayni | Aristotle
Size: 0.17 MB

chapter 3|18 pages

Collective biographies and utilitarian ethics

Liu Xiang | Fan Ye | Mary Hays | Lucy Aikin | Sarah Strickney Ellis | Mary Cowden Clarke | Jeremy Bentham | John Stuart Mill
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chapter 4|18 pages

Philosophical world histories and deontological ethics

Immanuel Kant | Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel | Thomas Hill Green | Robin George Collingwood | Kitarō Nishida | Hajime Tanabe | Keiji Nishitani
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chapter 5|20 pages

Little world histories and sentiment ethics

Jawaharlal Nehru | Eileen and Rhoda Power | Ernst Gombrich | John Newbery | Franco-Suisse | Adam Smith | David Hume
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chapter 6|17 pages

Global histories and cosmopolitan ethics

H. G. Wells | Charles Morazé and Georges-Henri Dumont | Leften Stavrianos | Sebastian Conrad | Kwame Anthony Appiah | Martha Nussbaum | Onora O'Neill
Size: 0.12 MB

chapter 7|16 pages

Microhistories and social contract ethics

Carlo Ginzburg | Natalie Zemon Davis | István M. Szijártó | Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon | Claire Judde de Larivière | John Rawls | David Gauthier | Charles W. Mills | Carol Pateman
Size: 0.11 MB

chapter 8|18 pages

Slice histories and infinite ethics

Boubacar Boris Diop | Tierno Monénembo | Véronique Tadjo | Abdourahman A. Waberi | Garrett Graff | Mitchell Zuckhoff | Richard Drew | Henry Singer | David Hein | Irene Sankoff | Emmanuel Levinas
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chapter 9|18 pages

Big histories and information ethics

Fernand Braudel | David Christian | Jared Diamond | John R. McNeill | William H. McNeill | Luciano Floridi | Katherine Bode
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chapter 10|20 pages

Non-human histories and entanglement ethics

Mark Kurlansky | Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan | Sven Beckert | Stephen Budiansky| Donna Haraway | Karen Barad | Gerardo Beni | Jing Wang
Size: 0.14 MB

chapter 11|10 pages

Indigenous histories and place ethics: Written with Aunty Anne Martin

Jakelin Troy | Linda Tuhiwai Smith | Karin Amimoto Ingersoll | Sandra D. Styres | Deborah Bird Rose
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chapter 12|4 pages

One angel? Scaling the ethics of history

Size: 0.06 MB