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Johan Huizinga – No spoilers, please

August 27, 2014

“The sociologist, etc., deals with his material as if the outcome were given in the known facts; he simply searches for the way in which the result was already determined in the facts. The historian, on the other hand, must always maintain towards his subject an indeterminist point of view. He must constantly put himself at a point in the past at which the known factors still seem to permit different outcomes. If he speaks of Salamis, then it must be as if the Persians might still win…”

(from Men and Ideas [1959])

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