Historical Understanding versus Moral Appraisal

To understand history, we must, as it were, enter into the minds of people in the past—a task that we can never accomplish except in a very incomplete way. We must try to understand how they viewed the choices they made, what various actions and categories of action meant to them. By looking at their world through their eyes, understanding their motives, incentives, and constraints as they understood them, we may construct a warranted historical interpretation of why they acted as they did.
But the use of such Verstehende Soziologie, as Max Weber called it, must never be confused with exculpating

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