Naming things

Places, events, and Group-names,

  • Naming things in social science like History is qualitative, not quantitative. Categories are a convenience.
  • History, for example, falls under the social science category and historians name things, events, groups to facilitate their narratives.
  • Categories are more rigid in the hard sciences like physics or mathematics. When something is called something in physics, for example, no one argues about the definitions.
  • So be careful—don’t treat social science categories like they’re scientific ones. They’re not. Otherwise, you end up arguing endlessly and focusing obsessively on the wrong things.
  • To have a firm grasp of history, you have to understand and master the process of history. It’s more important than what the process is or should be called.