In the past two sessions we have argued that:
1. We cannot know for certain what happened in the past [lecture 1];
2. We cannot know what caused these events in the past [lecture 2]
This suggests that History is pointless. The opposite is true: because we cannot know what happened, and what caused it, this means that history is a very fluid and powerful tool which can be used to entertain, inform and persuade.
These three central purposes of history – to inform, to persuade, to entertain – can overlap heavily. The important thing is to deduce the purpose of the history you are being presented with, then form your own judgements from it rather than the ones which are being rammed down your throat. This is the overriding purpose of history – to make you think for yourself.