The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By William H. Benson

Feelings in history


Scientists want to quantify. First, they observe a phenomenon, record their observations, arrive at a set of numbers, and then build a hypothesis. This procedure — the scientific method — works well in the sciences, such as in chemistry, biology and physics, but is less certain in the arts, such as in history.

A writer who wishes to quantify events from the past calls herself or himself a “social scientist,” rather than a historian. This type of scientist observes a population’s demographics, or he or she counts immigration numbers, casualties in a battle, dollars spent, racial pe...

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