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By Nathan Rotenstreich

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Sample text

And because s was B at time t2, s was C at time t3, and so on”. In a history, each explanatory statement implies its components—that is to say, the statements connected by the word “because” which make up its chronicle. If we say in a history of Germany that England declared war on Germany because the Germans had invaded Poland, we imply that the English declared war on Germany and that the Germans had invaded Poland; for that reason, a history logically implies its chronicle but not conversely since a history’s implied or entailed chronicle may be true when the history is false because some of its causal statements are.

But a careful study of communication, especially in history and law, brings to light a kind of blended or hybrid language which defies any effort to decompose it into factual and moral parts that may be accepted or rejected independently. There are, I believe, uses of language which are simultaneously descriptive and evaluative, and which cannot be broken down into the assertion of a factual statement and an evaluative statement which may be judged separately. The person who speaks or writes in this way is doing two inseparable things at once, stating a matter of fact and evaluating, and therefore his audience must take or leave his speech as a whole.

M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel (New York, 1927), p. 88. H I S T O R I C A L R E L AT I V I S M 41 however, that whereas all of the statements that compose a chronicle are singular and noncausal, some of them report states of the subject and some report events in its career. For example, a chronicle of England might begin with a statement that the ancient residents of England lived in small tribes under chiefs or kings; that they could not read; that they kept cattle, hunted, and fished; that they made baskets and pottery; that they grew barley in some places; that they mined for tin in Cornwall; that they were partially clothed in skins.

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