David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History and Theory 40 (1):37–56 (2001)
This article argues that the perception of decline among philosophers of history reflects the diffused weak academic status of the discipline, as distinct from the booming research activity and demand for philosophy of history that keeps pace with the growth rate of publications in the philosophies of science and law. This growth is justified and rational because the basic problems of the philosophy of history, concerning the nature of historiographical knowledge and the metaphysical assumptions of historiography, have maintained their relevance. Substantive philosophy of history has an assured popularity but is not likely to win intellectual respectability because of its epistemic weaknesses. I suggest focusing on problems that a study of historiography can help to understand and even solve, as distinct from problems that cannot be decided by an examination of historiography, such as the logical structure of explanation (logical positivism) and the relation between language and reality (post-structuralism). In particular, following Quine's naturalized epistemology, I suggest placing the relation between evidence and historiography at the center of the philosophy of historiography. Inspired by the philosophy of law, I suggest there are three possible relations between input (evidence) and output in historiography: determinism, indeterminism, and underdeterminism. An empirical examination of historiographical agreement, disagreement, and failure to communicate may indicate which relation holds at which parts of historiography. The historiographical community seeks consensus, but some areas are subject to disagreements and absence of communication; these are associated with historiographical schools that interpret conflicting models of history differently to fit their evidence. The reasons for this underdetermination of historiography by evidence needs to be investigated further
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Aviezer Tucker (2009). The Philosophy of Natural History and Historiography Making Prehistory: Historical Science and the Scientific Realism Debate. Journal of the Philosophy of History 3 (4):385-394.
Jonathan Gorman (2005). Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography by Aviezer Tucker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. VII + 291. £45.00. [REVIEW] Philosophy 80 (2):292-300.
Aviezer Tucker (1998). Scientific Historiography Revisited: An Essay on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of History. Dialogue 37 (02):235-.
Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, Achim Mittag & Jörn Rüsen (eds.) (2005). Historical Truth, Historical Criticism, and Ideology: Chinese Historiography and Historical Culture From a New Comparative Perspective. Brill.
Aviezer Tucker (ed.) (2008). The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophies of History and Historiography.
Mark Day (2006). Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography - By Aviezer Tucker. Philosophical Books 47 (4):386-388.
Claire Norton (ed.) (2007). Nationalism, Historiography, and the (Re)Construction of the Past. New Academia Pub..
Theodore Schatzki (2006). On Studying the Past Scientifically. Inquiry 49 (4):380 – 399.
Aviezer Tucker (2004). Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #124,740 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?