Are the questions Is History a subject where certain knowledge is accepted by all historians or can any event be a source for debate? and Are the following 5 tenets of historical record examination considered complete today? on-topic on this site and, if so, why?

Way I see it is that it doesn't meet any of the point mentioned in help/on-topic. i.e:

  • Historical events
  • Cultures and historical practices
  • Famous people
  • Ancient Languages
  • Factual current political history questions

4 Answers 4


I think History.se should allow questions about the science of history. They certainly should not be no meta.history.SE, as that is for questions about the site itself.

  • By that definition, then I think it should be allowed to have questions about the development cycle of Minix on Unix & Linux. Or questions like "why was that decision made?". Right? Dec 29, 2013 at 17:18
  • @BleedingFingers I don't see how that follows. Dec 29, 2013 at 17:48
  • It's about Minix. And that question is about history. Dec 29, 2013 at 18:11
  • 1
    @BleedingFingers (Well, neither of that is really true, but it doesn't matter) So? It's a different site about a different topic, and hence different rules. It's utterly and completely irrelevant to this question. Dec 29, 2013 at 18:34

Historiography questions are on-topic. These two appear to be particularly poor quality historiography questions.


Fascinating question.

In my opinion, the cost of not asking these questions is much higher than the cost of asking these questions. If we are to collectively moderate H:SE, then it behooves us to develop and maintain a common understanding of the goals of that moderation/curation. If we don't agree on what history is, and what kinds of sources should be used, then the site will be vulnerable to dilution, topic drift, and endless arguments driven by well intentioned but mismatched assumptions. Perhaps even the moderators cautioning us not to drive controversy in comments.

It may be that these questions more properly belong in H:SE Meta. I think we've gone back and forth on that, and I'm open to either answer. Or it may be that we need to update the help center to include questions about the practice of history as "on topic".

  • I like your idea of migrating such as these to H:SE Meta. se them as valuable questions to ask and answer, but as OP points out, no of general interest. Dec 24, 2013 at 2:18
  • 1
    meta.history.se is for questions about the site itself, not for meta-questions about the science of history.
    – Luke_0
    Dec 30, 2013 at 18:06

Agreeing with Lennart Regebro. I suggest these questions should be on-topic. Although this might surprise some because these are about the topic instead of on the topic.

Same has been done in TCS. Quoting Suresh Venkat:

Questions about the field are certainly not off topic. I'm also not in favor of making them meta. I think we will have to live with them on the main site, enforce CW and (maybe) big-list and soft-question tags, and let people who don't like them use tagging to exclude them (this is what I've done on MO, with the soft-question tag)

  • Translation please; the abbreviations and jargon seem specific to the site from which this was quoted. Jan 10, 2014 at 4:09

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