Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography

Cambridge University Press (2004)
Abstract
How do historians, comparative linguists, biblical and textual critics and evolutionary biologists establish beliefs about the past? How do they know the past? This book presents a philosophical analysis of the disciplines that offer scientific knowledge of the past. Using the analytic tools of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science the book covers such topics as evidence, theory, methodology, explanation, determination and underdetermination, coincidence, contingency and counterfactuals in historiography. Aviezer Tucker's central claim is that historiography as a scientific discipline should be thought of as an effort to explain the evidence of past events. He also emphasizes the similarity between historiographic methodology to Darwinian evolutionary biology. This is an important, fresh new approach to historiography and will be read by philosophers, historians and social scientists interested in the methodological foundations of their disciplines.
Keywords Historiography  History Philosophy
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Call number D13.T85 2004
ISBN(s) 9780521834155   0521834155
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Ben Jeffares (2010). Guessing the Future of the Past. Biology and Philosophy 25 (1):125-142.
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