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Title: Antiquarianism and legal history
Contributor(s): Stuckey, Michael  (author)
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139028578.014
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Abstract: Referring to the genres of writing which make up the title of this chapter, W. K. Ferguson (in his 1948 monograph 'The Renaissance in Historical Thought') irreverently avowed "what is mirrored in the writings we have studied, though often seen darkly as in a glass", almost as though there was no (other) reality but the reflection itself. This wistful comment was, of course, an intellectual provocation. Ferguson's real point was to emphasise what he saw as a precept of history and historical writing: that the past is made up of events; events which are capable of being given meaning and construction by their observers in an active sense. His line of reasoning was that, while accepting the limitations of individual bias, and the influences of scholarly tradition, it is still incumbent upon the historian to give some meaning to recorded phenomena. Ferguson held that to interpret the past adequately, one must consciously attempt to recognise one's own perspective, and how that viewpoint relates to its intellectual heritage. With just such a frame of reference, the aim of this chapter is to explore how far the necessity for this kind of active and contemplative self-consciousness is amplified when the task at hand involves not only the interpretation of historical events but also the interpretation of a threshold for the writing of legal history itself.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, p. 215-243
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: Cambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781139028578
Field of Research (FOR): 180122 Legal Theory, Jurisprudence and Legal Interpretation
210305 British History
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
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