Учебно-методическое пособие для аспирантов




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Understanding History


The study of the past is called history. When we set out to study history, we are able to draw the people and events of ancient times closer to us. Studying the past allows us to “see” the faces of the famous and the nameless people who lived thousands of years before us. It helps us understand what their lives were like. We can see how our lives are similar to theirs and also how they are different. We can see how people of the distant past had to face some of the very same problems we face today. And we can appreciate connections that bind together people and all time periods and all areas of the world.

What can the past tell us about the problems of today? By studying the past, we can see how previous cultures dealt with similar problems. We can understand the effects of their actions, and we can make judgments about how our actions might affect the future.

In our multicultural world we must understand the history of other cultures in order to solve problems together. By studying the past we can see the roots of the present and we can better understand our world neighbours. Learning about the past gives us a framework for making decisions about the issues that wee face today. It also helps us understand how our actions will affect the people of tomorrow.

History has been called a conversation between the present and the past. People of the past communicate with people of today through the writing, artifacts and structures they leave behind.

Every generation sees the world differently. And because each generation and each individual looks at things from a new point of view, history is always open to different interpretations.

History also has been compared to a jigsaw puzzle. Some pieces of the puzzle have been lost forever. Pieces once considered lost have now been found. The available pieces can be fitted together in many ways. Each generation of historians tries to put together the available pieces of the puzzle and to interpret the picture that emerges. In doing so we hope to understand not only what happened in the past, but how it happened and why it happened.

History – record of the events of human societies. The earliest surviving historical records are the inscriptions denoting the achievements of Egyptian and Babylonian Kings. As a literary form historical writing or historiography began with the Greek Herodotus in the 5th century BC, who was first to pass beyond the limits of a purely national outlook. A generation later, Thucydides brought to history a strong sense of the political and military ambitions of his native Athens. His close account of the Peloponnesian War was continued by Xenophon. Later Greek history and Roman history tended toward rhetoric.

Medieval history was dominated by a religious philosophy sustained by the Christian church. English chroniclers of this period are Bede, William Malmesbury and Matthew Paris.

The Renaissance revived historical writing and the study of history both by restoring classical models and by creating the science of textual criticism.

A product of new secular spirit was Machiavelli’s History of Florence 1520-23. This critical approach continued into the 17th century. The 18th century Enlightenment disposed of the attempt to explain history in theological terms and an interpretive masterpiece was produced by Edward Gibbon.

An attempt to formulate historical method and a philosophy of history, that of the Italian Giovanni Vico, remained almost unknown until the 19th century Romanticism left its mark on 19th-century historical writing in the tendency to exalt the contribution of the individual “hero”, and in the introduction of a more colourful and dramatic style and treatment, variously illustrated in the works of the French historican Jules Michelet (1798-1874) and the British writers Carlyle and Macaulay.

During the 20th century the study of history has been revolutionized, partly through the contributions of other disciplines, such as the sciences and anthropology. The deciphering of the Egyptian and Babylonian inscriptions was of great importance. Researchers and archaeologists have traced developments in prehistory and have revealed forgotten civilizations such as that of Crete. Anthropological studies of primitive Society and religion, which began with James Frazer’s Golden Bough 1890, have attempted to analyse the bases of later forms of social organizations and belief. The changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution and the accompanying perception of economics as a science forced historians to turn their attention to economic questions.

Contemporary historians make a distinction between historical evidence or records, historical writing and historical method or approaches to the study of history. Contemporary historians make extensive use of statistics, population figures and primary records to justify historical arguments. Historians do not just collect facts, they examine the information they collect and then decide how to interpret it.


Summary Making

Summaries are often found in academic work. A summary is the shortest account of the main content and conclusions of the original text. In fact it is enumeration of the main thematic point of the original paper which is made up of the words and phrases borrowed from the text and your own wording of them into a very small number of sentences.

When writing a summary, you may adhere to the following plan:

  1. the heading;

  2. the theme of the paper;

  3. the key problems (thematic points) discussed;

  4. the conclusion at which the author arrives.

The manner of presenting the material is very concise and it tends to be critical. The summary writer appreciates the material from his point of view and uses as a rule a wide range of clichés, which can be divided into several groups:

  1. those introducing the heading and the author:

The article (text) is head-lined …

The head-line of the article (I have read) is …

The article is entitled …

The author of the article (text) is …

The article is written by …

  1. those introducing the leading theme of the original paper:

The text deals with ...

The article is devoted to...

The chapter is about..

The article touches upon…

  1. those drawing the reader's attention to the major points of the contents:

The author emphasizes the idea of...

The author points out that ...

Attention is drawn to the fact...

In the opinion of the author it is .

  1. those introducing secondary information:

Further the author reports

The author states…

The article goes on to say…

According to the text …

  1. those forming a conclusion to which the reader's attention is drawn:

The author comes to the conclusion that...

The author concludes by saying ...

The basic approach of the author is that, etc.


Now read the text Science: The Endless Resource and study its sample summary.


The Endless Resource

Our future demands investment in our people, institutions and ideas. Science is an essential part of that investment, an endless and sustainable resource with extraordinary dividends. The Government should accept new responsibilities for promoting the flow of new scientific knowledge and the development of scientific talent in the youth. These responsibilities are the proper concern of the Government, for they vitally affect health, jobs and national security

The bedrock wisdom of this statement has been demonstrated time and again in the intervening half century. The return from public investments in fundamental science has been enormous, both through the knowledge generated and through the education of an unmatched scientific and technical workforce. Discoveries in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and other fundamental sciences have seeded and have been driven by important advances in engineering, technology, and medicine.

The principal sponsors and beneficiaries of scientific enterprise are people. Their continued support, rooted in the recognition of science as the foundation of a modern knowledge-based technological society, is essential. This investment has yielded a scientific enterprise without peer, whether measured in term of discoveries, citations, awards and prizes, advanced education, or contributions to industrial and informational innovation. Scientific strength is a treasure which we must sustain and build on for the future.

To fulfill our responsibility to future generations by ensuring that our children can compete in the global economy, we must invest in the scientific enterprise at a rate commensurate with its growing importance to society. That means we must provide physical infrastructure that facilitates world class research, including access to cutting-edge scientific instrumentation and to world-class information and communication systems. We must provide the necessary educational opportunities for each of our citizens. Failure to exercise our responsibility will place our children's future at risk.

Science does indeed provide an endless frontier. Advancing that frontier and exploring the cosmos we live in helps to feed our sense of adventure and our passion for discovery. Science is also an endless resource: in advancing the frontier, our knowledge of the physical and living world constantly expands. The unfolding secrets of nature provide new knowledge to address crucial challenges, often in unpredictable ways. These include improving human health, creating breakthrough technologies that lead to new industries and high quality jobs, enhancing productivity with information technologies and improved understanding of human interactions, meeting our national security needs, protecting and restoring the global environment, and feeding and providing energy for a growing population.

The challenges of the twenty-first century will place a high premium on sustained excellence in scientific research and education. We approach the future with a strong foundation, built by the wise and successful stewardship of this enterprise over many decades, and with an investment strategy that was framed as three interconnected strategic goals:

  • Long term economic growth that creates jobs and protects the environment;

  • A government that is more productive and more responsive to the needs of its citizens;

  • World leadership in basic science, mathematics, and engineering.

Our policies in these areas should be working to prepare the future.

Our future demands investment in our people, institutions and ideas. Science is an essential part of that investment. The Government should accept new responsibilities for promoting the flow of new scientific knowledge. The bedrock wisdom of this statement has been demonstrated time and again in the intervening half century. The principal sponsors and beneficiaries of scientific enterprise are people. Scientific strength is a treasure which we must sustain and build on for the future. To fulfill our responsibility to future generations, we must invest in the scientific enterprise at a rate commensurate with its growing importance to society. Science does indeed provide an endless frontier. We approach the future with an investment strategy that was framed as interconnected strategic goals: long term economic growth; a more productive government and world leadership in basic science, mathematics, and engineering. The challenges of the twenty-first century will place a high premium on sustained excellence in scientific research and education. Our policies in these areas should be working to prepare the future.


Summary

The text under discussion is entitled Science: The Endless Resource. It deals with the role of science in modern life. First, it is stressed the Government should accept new responsibilities for promoting the flow of new scientific knowledge. Attention is drawn to the fact that fundamental science discoveries have seeded important advances in the society, scientific knowledge being an endless resource affecting health, jobs and national security. It is reported that unfolding secrets of nature provides new knowledge to address crucial challenges. The text goes on to say that we must provide physical infrastructure and educational opportunities that facilitate world class research. The author concludes that challenges of the twenty-first century will place a high premium on excellence in scientific research and education. To my mind, the main idea of the text is to show that science is the foundation of a modern knowledge-based technological society.


Try to produce the summary of the text Science making use of the instructions given above.


Science

Science [from Latin scientia from scire to know] is systemized knowledge derived through experimentation, observation, and study. In its widest sense it is formulated knowledge, a knowledge of structure, laws, and operations. The unity of human knowledge may be artificially divided into religion, philosophy, and science. Sometimes it is considered as a method of reaming about the world by applying the principles of the scientific method, which includes making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways; also refers to the organized body of knowledge that results from scientific study.

Science and philosophy, as presently understood, have in common the quality of being speculative, as opposed to religion, which in the West is supposed to be founded merely on faith and moral sentiments. The present distinction between science and philosophy lies largely in their respective fields of speculation. What is known as modern science investigates the phenomena of physical nature and by inferential reasoning formulates general laws there from. Its method is called inductive and its data are so-called facts -- i.e., sensory observations; whereas deductive philosophy starts from axioms. Yet a scientist, in order to reason from his data at all, must necessarily use both induction and deduction.

Fundamental science is the part of science that describes the most basic objects, forces, relations between them and laws governing them, such that all other phenomena may be in principle derived from them, following the logic of scientific reductionism. Fundamental science includes biology, chemistry, earth science and geology, physics, resource sciences, space and astronomy, biotechnology, engineering, computer and information technology.

The humanities are a group of academic subjects united by a commitment to studying aspects of the human condition and a qualitative approach that generally prevents a single paradigm from coming to define any discipline. Art, Communications, Counseling, Education, English, Foreign Languages (Italian, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, others), Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Speech, Theatre. Subjects such as English, philosophy, language, and literature as distinguished from fundamental sciences.

Scientific theories simplify reality to allow us to understand basic forces and laws of the nature and society. We can observe actions and their consequences. Observation and description are not sufficient for understanding and ultimately predicting actions. Theory establishes relationships between cause and effect. We use it to interpret actions and outcomes so we can explain the process by which the actions were undertaken and the outcomes achieved. The purpose of theory in all scientific analyses is to explain the causes of phenomena we observe. To conduct analyses we frequently need to engage in abstraction. This involves making assumptions about the environment that simplify the real world enough to allow us to isolate forces of cause and effect. Any theory is a simplification of actual relationships.


Now try to translate a summary of a scientific paper from Russian into English.


Данное издание является первой попыткой систематизации и обобщения всего опыта белорусской философской, религиозной и культурной мысли XX столетия. Его контекст и критерий отбора фактографического материала определила проблема Беларуси как эпицентра культурно-цивилизационного взаимодействия Востока и Запада.

В антологии представлены концепции, точки зрения и суждения видных белорусских мыслителей, православных и католических деятелей, писателей, ученых, публицистов и политиков, затрагивающие комплекс проблем и вопросов геокультурологического характера.

Особое внимание в публикации отведено проблеме определения культурно-цивилизационных основ белорусского этноса и народа, рассмотрению ключевых факторов формирования и этапов развития национального самосознания.

Книга знакомит с белорусским видением и глубиной понимания сущности, форм и последствий влияния и взаимодействия исторических, религиозных и культурных традиций Востока и Запада в белорусском прошлом и настоящем.

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