UDC 930

A RETROSPECTIVE VIEW OF A MONOGRAPH FROM THE METHODOLOGY OF HISTORY

Elezović Dalibor Milorad
University of Pristina, Serbia
PhD, Department of history

Abstract
This text presents a retrospective view of a monograph from the methodology of history, The Study of History (Istrazivanje istorije) written by Zdravko Deletic.

Keywords: historian, historical consciousness, historical sources, methodology of history, monograph The Study of History, social sciences, Zdravko Deletic


Article reference:
Elezović D.M. A retrospective view of a monograph from the methodology of history // History and archeology. 2015. № 1 [Electronic journal]. URL: http://history.snauka.ru/en/2015/01/1383

View this article in Russian

Serbian historiography has never been rich in monographs relating to the methodology of history, with the exception of translated works of foreign authors. One of few authors who have been addressing this issue for many years is Zdravko Deletic, professor in the History Department of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Pristina, temporarily seated in Kosovska Mitrovica [3]. Today Deletic teaches Methodology of the Study of History in the master’s and doctoral studies of history. For a long time, he has been addressing this scientific question, and as a result of those studies, several monographic works and collections of methodological studies were created, which are valuable contribution to the progress of knowledge and interpretation of methodological problems in Serbian historiography.

At this course, Deletic’s monograph The Study of History has been created, which is the sublimation of recent results of his work on the study of the methodological problems of historiography. In the book, the author upgraded his research, and his university and research experience with the methodological thoughts of leading contemporary Serbian and Yugoslav methodologists of history. Also, opinions of well-known foreign methodologists, whose works were translated into the Serbian language, were incorporated in this professional text [2].

The book The Study of History is conceived as a monograph and textbook for the master’s and doctoral study programs, written on the basis of extensive literature; the chapters cover the basic issues of the study of methodology, with elements of textbook literature. However, the book has all the characteristics of a monograph; it has a scientific apparatus, i.e. it quotes scientific literature. Professor Deletic quotes well-known methodologists to approach the issue to students, allowing them to compare the different perspectives on the same scientific question.

The monograph begins with the chapter on methodology, i.e. general and specific scientific methods. A separate chapter is devoted to the historical method as the system of rules of empirical research of the past, whose focal point is criticism of sources. For professor Deletic, history as the science of the past “studies the history of people and society, reveals the causes of historical events, phenomena and processes in various fields of human activity, explains their course and essence, connections and consequences of historical events” [2]. We should take into account the interpretation of the historical method provided by one of the leading specialists for this issue on Yugoslav territory, Mirjana Gross, who concludes that “the term historical method means either only one of these processes, or all of them together” [1, 363].

One of the central points in the monograph The Study of History is the question of the formation and operation of historical consciousness, whose essence is to describe in what way individuals, groups or nations perceive themselves in time and space, in what they believe, what they say or write about their past and durability. Professor Deletic rightly connects the concept of historical consciousness with the notion of identity [2].

The place of a historian in the study of history is discussed in the chapter entitled “Historian: The Product and Producer of History.” The following factors limit the historian’s work: the subject of research, preserved and available resources, his intellectual and professional abilities, and social environment. The modern historian, according to Professor Deletic, can strive to be non-engaged, however, his results are being used against his will and intentions, depending on the way in which individuals or groups are using them.

In the monograph, considerable attention is paid to historical sources, source types, limits and source criticism as an important element of historical methodology. A separate chapter interprets the classification of history according to time, space, issues, methods, and scientific value. The book explains the relationship of history and auxiliary historical sciences and the relationship of history and social sciences [2]. It is an open theoretical and methodological issue, to which European science also pays attention as one of the problems of historical science. So, well-known philosopher of science Helmut Seiffert said that the term “historical science” as a rule implies only a part of the “historical sciences.” In fact, it implies historical sciences concerned with “political history” and areas that are directly adjacent to it, such as church history, history of law, economic and social history. According to this narrowed interpretation, so-called “philology” and the science of art, i.e. the disciplines that study the history of languages, literature and art do not belong to “historical sciences” – not to mention the history of natural sciences, technology, medicine, etc. [3, 70-71]. On the other hand, a great part of theories on society, especially in economy, is devoted to explaining rather limited fields of human activity. John Tosh believes that it is often somewhat artificial and impartial method, so that the application of such social theories to history can lead to increased blinker effect, to which historians, especially those who specialize in a particular area, are prone. Another problem is the alleged lack of interest in history by social sciences [5, 260].

Monograph The Study of History introduces the reader to the ways of communicating research results, i.e. the types of historiographical texts. We emphasize the usefulness of this methodological lexicon, which provides an overview of methodological terms. The monograph will be useful to everyone who studies the past, we can say, from multiple aspects and through various social and humanistic disciplines. It will be the most useful to history students of all levels, and therefore it is recommended to them as essential reading in the study and understanding of “life’s teacher.”


References
  1. Gross M. Suvremena historiografija: korijeni, postignuća, traganja. Zagreb, 2001.
  2. Делетић, З. Истраживање историје Косовска Митровица, 2013.
  3. Наука и критика: био-библиографија Здравка Делетића. Беране, 2001.
  4. Seiffert H. Einführung in die Wissenschaftstheorie 2. Zweiter Band: Geisteswissenschaftliche Methoden: Phänomenologie – Hermeneutik und historische Methode – Dialektik. Мünchen, 2006.
  5. Тош Џ.  У трагању за историјом. Београд, 2008.


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