Leon Goldstein and the epistemology of historical knowing

History and Theory 45 (2):204–228 (2006)
Leon Goldstein’s critical philosophy of history has suffered a relative lack of attention, but it is the outcome of an unusual story. He reached conclusions about the autonomy of the discipline of history similar to those of R. G. Collingwood and Michael Oakeshott, but he did so from within the Anglo-American analytic style of philosophy that had little tradition of discussing such matters. Initially, Goldstein attempted to apply a positivistic epistemology derived from Hempel’s philosophy of natural science to historical knowledge, but gradually formulated an anti-realistic epistemology that firmly distinguished historical knowledge of the past not only from the scientific perspective but also from fictional and common-sense attitudes to the past. Among his achievements were theories of the distinctive nature of historical evidence and historical propositions, of the constructed character of historical events, and of the relationship between historical research and contemporary culture. Taken together, his ideas merit inclusion among the most important twentieth-century contributions to the problem of historical knowledge
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2303.2006.00357.x
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References found in this work BETA
Ernest Nagel (1960). Determinism in History. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 20 (3):291-317.
Leon J. Goldstein (1962). Evidence and Events in History. Philosophy of Science 29 (2):175-194.
Leon J. Goldstein (1967). Theory in History. Philosophy of Science 34 (1):23-40.
C. Behan McCullagh (1980). Historical Realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40 (3):420-425.

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