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Single Idea 20261

[catalogued under 25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / d. History study]

Full Idea

The writer of history deals not with what really happened but merely with supposed events, for only the latter have had an effect. ...All historians speak of things that have never existed except in imagination.

Gist of Idea

History does not concern what really happened, but supposed events, which have all the influence


Friedrich Nietzsche (Dawn (Daybreak) [1881], 307)

A Reaction

This seems blatantly true, and is most obvious in the case of forged documents which have been hugely influential. Erroneous conspiracy theories are another example. (Note: only scorn conspiracy theories if you think conspiracies never happen!).

Book Reference

Nietzsche,Friedrich: 'Dawn (Daybreak)', ed/tr. Smith, Brittain [Stanford 2011], p.190