Braudel

The chapter “History and the Social Sciences” in Fernand Braudel’s book On History gives a great insight not only into the importance of all of the social sciences as a whole, but how they are interconnected. Braudel states that while each of these studies in connected, they harm themselves in their need to advance more rapidly than the others and also in their unwillingness to accept the connection between the others. At the same time, Braudel stresses that fact that amid these disciplines, history is gradually losing ground in its importance. Though it is at the forefront of the social sciences, it has nevertheless lost ground as other disciplines have increased in importance and attention throughout the years. Despite this, however, Braudel also stresses the fact that all other disciplines can, in their own ways, be used to create spans of time. He gives examples of fluctuating economic markets. In this way, there in a link between the studies which cannot, or at least should not, be ignored. In virtually every area of study, patterns can be traced upon which the scholars of these fields base their work. These patters are in themselves history.

It is interesting to note the strong connection between such opposite fields of study as say history and psychology. These studies are generally thought of as completely separated and yet advancements in knowledge of psychology can be used to trace periods of time. Just the same, periods of economic growth and decline, advancements in geographic knowledge, new theories in anthropology, can all be used  to create periods of historical time. The social sciences are all linked together despite their differences. At the same time, it is interesting to note this as a way of preserving the interest in the field of history throughout time in spite of its weakening interest. While it seems as though more and more people are pursuing careers in mathematics and science, the field of history will always hold a special place among the social sciences and for this reason will never lose its importance.

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