The word ‘history’ has been derived from these three words ‘Iti-ha-aas’ which means – ‘Surely it happened’. Acharya Durg, while explaining this in his ‘Nirukta Bhashya Vritti’, has written – ‘Iti haivamasiditi yat kathyate tat itihasah’ – that is, ‘it was definitely like this’. Its derivation is believed to be from the German word ‘Geschichte’ which means special and understandable description of past events. The last word in iti-ha-aas is more important, because it has been mentioned in many places in ancient texts. The way scholars have taken history in different meanings, similarly the definitions have also been given in different ways. Some people have called history as a story, a knowledge, political science, social science, pure science, contemplation, past-present, past-future, while some have defined it by addressing civilization, culture, truth-searching, production, progress etc. have tried to do. Seeing these variations, Charles Firth gets annoyed and says that defining history is a very difficult task. By looking at the definitions of history, it is known that the same scholar has defined it in many ways on the basis of different aspects and has forced himself to question whether he has actually understood history or something. No . Among the mystics who defined history as ‘story’, the names of Rainier, Travelian, Périnne, Tuijinga, Oliver and the French Academy, as well as Carlyle and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, are particularly noteworthy. Rainier says- ‘History is the story of human experiences embedded in a civilized society. GM Travillion explains that history is a story in an irreversible form, while Henri Perrine believes that history is the story of the actions and achievements of human beings living in society. According to Tuijinga, history refers to the narrative events of the past. This is a story of memorable things, so the historian should tell its story, but not express any exhortation or moral views. If we see, we will find that some events in history are presented in the form of a story, but it is completely unfair to reduce its importance by calling them only stories. Despite being a story in history, it is not just a story.
We get many types of information from history, we get knowledge. That’s why some sages rightly say that history is a knowledge. According to Charles Firth, history communicates knowledge through a variety of examples. Sir Walter Rayleigh also believes that the basic purpose of history is to learn from the events of the past so that we can be guided. According to A. L. Rouse, history is an action based on knowledge. Kalingaud and Kroche have also admitted that ‘historical knowledge is the source of human knowledge’. In the words of Dr. Govind Chandra Pandey, by emphasizing on the separation of historical knowledge from relativism and the realistic nature of scientific knowledge, it throws light on the characteristics of historical knowledge. Therefore history is a unique type of knowledge and it is the source of all human knowledge. Even if we look at the definition of history on this basis, it is felt that some mistake has been made. In fact, instead of calling history a ‘story’, it is better to call it a ‘knowledge’, because of this the importance of history is seen increasing. But it is not proper to try to limit its field by relating to knowledge only; Because it is not mentioned anywhere in its knowledge-related definition that the knowledge of everything is history, but it is assumed. That history is also a kind of knowledge or a branch of knowledge.
History can also be said from the continuum of knowledge that it is the one who imparts knowledge of the art of politics. According to Nucidids and Polyvius, the science that educates politicians is history. It is a collection of knowledge, such is the view of the Greek-Roman scholars. Nowadays, if this is said about history, then the question will arise that what can be said about political science? Today, the main reason for the mistake shown in the above statement is that at that time history was kept under political science and its study was not done as an independent subject.
Prof. Kar has defined history at one place like this – ‘History, in fact, is the continuous process of interaction between the historian and the facts and the continuous dialogue between the present and the past’. According to him, if history is a continuous dialogue between the past and the present, then it can be termed as a continuous dialogue between the events of the past and the emerging future consequences. He considers history to be a chapter of more or less coincidences. He also calls it movement, movement, a struggle process, interpretation etc. Dr. KS Lal says- ‘History is the study of great works of human life. It is a compilation of great and extraordinary successes of mankind.’ According to Lord Acton, ‘This systematic search for events of the past that can show the way to the future, whose basis is not personal opinion but authentic facts, is called history.
According to Rameshchandra Majumdar, history is concerned with the curiosity of the inner truth. The search for truth is history. In the words of Prof. D. D. Kosambi, ‘History is the chronological presentation of successive changes in the resources and relations of production. According to Lohia, history follows the unalterable logic of Greek tragedy. It can be made readable like a novel, but then it will have no purpose or design. In this, both rise and fall are involved.
In short we can say that history is a systematic study of the progress of human society and also helpful in its progress. Although this too would not be a proper definition of history. Since history is a description of both the growth and destruction of civilization, it makes no sense to say that history is the only scripture that makes the historian poor. It is also not proper to relate it only with culture, as Spengler has written – ‘The process of development and creation in which life is moving with its internal instinct and original inspiration is called ‘history’. • Only motion, destiny and process can be found in history. According to him, history is not a continuous sequential process. The trend of history is not linear but circular. History belongs to the whole world and is related to the cultures of the whole world. History is the life-play of cultures whose rules are fixed and unchangeable. The process of history goes on from the life course of the cultures. When culture begins to mold, reaching the stage of civilization, it merges with the public ‘historical’ (historyless) human. Spengler believes in the repetition of history. He was in favor of using the pigeon hole method in history and was dissatisfied with the glue and scissors style. Spengler has presented excellent ideas about the dynamic process of history and the changing process of the world and has unveiled the inner nature of history. But even these thoughts of his could not define history properly. Therefore it seems appropriate to accept that the appropriate definition of history is the one which tells us that ‘History is the detailed study of man-society in all spheres of his life’. History is not merely a chronological study of political events, it only facilitates its study. In fact, history is the study of the organized social groups of man, however progressive or backward they may be – in all aspects of their economic, political, social, cultural etc.
Nature of History (Swaroop)
Everyone has their own vision and understanding of different importance in seeing, understanding and clarifying its nature. He expresses what he sees and understands. A similar thing can be seen about the nature of history as well.
Both oriental and western historians have expressed the nature of history in different ways in the same way in which they have presented its meaning and definition in different ways. If we review the way in which the nature of history has been defined by some historians and scholars, then we will find that some have described its nature as story and social science, then some have created a bridge between knowledge, contemporary thought and past and present. As it is believed, some have called it a collection of major events or a universal introduction to the world.
Further, the nature of history has been presented by some important people. Hegel, considering the nature of history as a timely argument, has told that due to the dialectical and contradictory of the logical process, that is, due to the order of argument, argument and equanimity, the process of history is similarly dialectical and contradictory, which is called dialectic. . Hegel has accepted the nature of history as a rational process, but in a different form from nature and has said that the nature of history should be such that the process moves in a linear manner and novelty is also found in the frequencies.
On reviewing Hegel’s statement, it is found lacking in the nature of history-analysis that he considered both intellect and emotion to be one and the same. It is a mistake that all actions depend on the intellect, however it is also commendable that he has tried his best to broaden the nature of history by seeing the nature of history as being fruitful in “world history” like Kant and Herder. According to the belief of John Dewey, the nature of history has been constantly changing and evolving according to the social needs. When it expands when it develops, then it is easy to study by dividing its form into small parts for the convenience of study. In this sense, he considers the role of historian to be important in the formation of history. But, his belief has been rejected that there is no repetition in history.
Many scholars have proved this by some examples. It is said that history repeats itself. Karl Marx, the best follower of Hegel, it is said that in the analysis of history he was a follower of Hegel in one sense and an opponent in another sense. Hegel’s philosophy He accepted the dialectical method, and opposed it in the sense that it distinguished scientism from materialism. In this way he wanted to make historical interpretations instead of philosophical ones.
On this basis, where Hegel is called the originator of history-philosophy, Marx is called the originator of historical sociology or socio-scientific-historical analysis.
In the view of Acharya Narendra Dev, the nature of history is related to the human society with the right conduct and culture. He had special respect for the national socialist character of history and was also fond of struggle in democracy. But Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had tried as much as possible to see the nature of history only in ‘a glimpse of world history’. The cycle of history of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia seems to be more in contrast to Hegel and Karl Marx than Spengler and Twainby, in which geographical change is considered inevitable. Similarly, different scholars have expressed the nature of history according to their own views. But, all the descriptions bring us to history mainly in two forms-the first is related to the scientific nature of history and the second to its artistic form. Further, it is clarified whether history is a science or an art, or both science and art, or something else rather than both.
(1) History is a science
First of all, Gibbon, Voltaire, Wolf, Ranke etc. tried to bring history in the category of science. Ranke has made so much effort that • He came to be called even the originator of modern science. But, he was also unable to give history the category of complete science. He too could not free history from these two obstacles – (1) the feeling of nationalism, and (2) emphasizing on the philosophy of history. According to Prof. J. B. Veuri, his biggest mistake was that he had included history in politics, due to which his field of study was limited, while the field of study of history is wide. According to Prof. Viewry, Seal also made the same mistake. He has also taken the initiative to integrate history with political science. One of the difficulties in bringing history into the category of science was that of ‘religion’ which was completely involved with it. In 1859, Prof. Darwin had succeeded in bringing history into the category of science by ‘Origin of Species’ by staying beyond it and keeping it free from every sentiment or philosophy. He gave a scientific basis to the study of history and associated it with other scholars. This is what J.B.Very has said – “Darwin gave a scientific basis to the study of history and related it to other sciences.” Observation, verification and classification, generalization, prediction and scientific tendency in any scientific method Formation of hypothesis in history Classification, verification and general regulation of material is possible, therefore it is a science.
(2) History is an art
Scholars who do not consider history to be a science also consider it an art. Some scholars consider it an art along with a science. Art is that knowledge which, by making practical use of knowledge and deciding good and evil, tries to lead an individual or society towards good. This happens in history, so it is art. Historian is an artist, he studies the circumstances of the past and builds the path of the future.
In other words, he builds the basis for building the future on the basis of truthfulness and authenticity of events. Gibbon, Macaulay, Carlyle Prabruti historians used to do the same. Henry Pirne has associated history with ancient poetry and called it art. The proponents of art have considered history as a branch of literature. Kroche has also considered the presentation of facts as the sacred duty of the historian. This is the harmony between the historian and the artist that the historian experiences as an artist. The only slight difference between art and history is that art describes possibilities, whereas history presents reality. But, both operate from their mind, the responsibility of which is their own and their presentation is the result of their mental process. History is also an art because in it with accuracy, special attention is paid to the skill of description, interestingness, selection of illustrations and the characteristics of characterization. If there was no interest in it like art, then its study would have become monotonous. So it is definitely an art.
So we can say that history is not only science and not only art, but it is science and art too. In science, it is a social science and in art, it is a reality, not a fantasy. Where we find uniformity in history and science, history can be called science, whereas if there is a difference between the two, history is not considered a science. Similarly, where the characteristics of art are found in it (in history), there is art, and where it is not found, they keep it separate from art. Therefore it would be unfair to say that history is a science, neither less nor more; And there is art, neither less nor more than that.
(3) History is a philosophy
The question arises that along with being a science and an art, is history also a philosophy? When we think without prejudice, we actually get history in the form of a philosophy. Today many scholars have expressed their views in favor of this, but some have also tried as much as possible to prove by their arguments that both history and philosophy are two separate subjects and in any case history is not a philosophy. To find the answer for ourselves, we have to look at both the statements.
We know that history is meaningful. ‘Neyarth’ is said to be such a candidate which is neya, or sustainable due to its originality. By seeking, we mean research. Exploration is inherently valuable, consequently also valuable. Leadership is the holding of the past and the present for the future, and exploration is the holding of the future in the present. These two are mutually related and this relativity is essential for the time to be historical. The past is only a mirrored present of the future and without imposing the future in the past. Reflected in the sense of the present is the life-religion of timelessness, which distinguishes it from the strange. But economics is a characteristic of man. This is the philosophy of history.
Our thoughts or thoughts are related to history on one hand and philosophy on the other. To be honest, thought starts the process of philosophy, and thought creates history. Today’s era is the age of ideas. Thoughts originate in the mind and are expressed through speech. Thought is human pervasive, whereas knowledge is an object system. The historian gives expression to the physical knowledge, but when the insistence comes in the ideas, it turns into a debate. Just as thought or thought is necessary for philosophy, in the same way it is necessary for history. On this basis, thinkers believe that history is a philosophy.
In the field of history, Voltaire, Vico and Herder have presented the philosophy of history through their book ‘Idea for Philosophy of History Mankind’. Hegel, through his work ‘Rectors on Philosophy of History’, has presented history as an esoteric subject in front of the society. Voltaire has accepted the meaning of history-philosophy to present it through scientific or analytical study. According to him there is a mutual harmony between the philosophy of history and the mind of the historian. History-philosophy sees only one event in events, whereas history-philosophy prides itself on ascertaining the proven meaning and reality. As a result, the philosophy of history simply means to transplant the mental process or idea contained in the past events into the present and the future.
In fact, philosophy of history is a method of thinking history.
On the basis of Spencer’s statement, we are seen trying to relate philosophy with history. Science is ultimately integrated knowledge, whereas philosophy is completely integrated knowledge. History also has the same position that it is not a complete science and just as there is no mathematics in philosophy, there are no laws of mathematics in history. In this way both are equally a science, but not a pure science. Hence it can be said that history is philosophical in nature.