Fred Morrow Fling: Scientific Historian
It will be pointed out in this paper that Fred Morrow Fling was a product of his times, and that his assumptions and attitudes toward history were in many ways those of the scientific historians. In discussing his career I have tried to do what Fling himself attempted to do in his biography of Mirabeau: "I have tried." Fling wrote, "to avoid the role of the advocate and to attain to a strictly scientific point of view -- in so far as evidence permits it -- but to describe it sympathetically." I cannot claim success in being "scientific" if by that term is meant strict objectivity. It will be clear that 1 do not share Fling's a belief that the historian can be completely detached from his subject. I will not, however, argue with Fling on whether history is or is not a science; he believed it was and it is my purpose to suggest why he thought so, and to explain what the science of history meant to Fling.
- History