This paper attempts to give a critical appraisal of Professor Suresh Chandra’s views on Historiography of Civilization with reference to Dravidian Civilization. “Historiography of Indian Civilization: Harappans, Dravidians, Aryans and Gandhi’s freedom struggle” (published in JICPR June 1996) and “Demythologizing History: Dravidians in Relation to Harappans and the Aryans” (presented in the seminar on Dravidian Philosophy organized by Dravidian University, Kuppam) are the two significant works which are devoted to Historiography of civilization by Prof. Suresh Chandra. This (...) paper mainly confines to the first article since the second one, as the author himself stated, is an offshoot of the first. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The sixteen essays in this volume confront the current debate about the relationship between philosophy and its history. On the one hand intellectual historians commonly accuse philosophers of writing bad - anachronistic - history of philosophy, and on the other, philosophers have accused intellectual historians of writing bad - antiquarian - history of philosophy. The essays here address this controversy and ask what purpose the history of philosophy should serve. Part I contains more purely theoretical and methodological discussion, of such (...) questions as whether there are 'timeless' philosophical problems, whether the issues of one epoch are commensurable with those of another, and what style is appropriate to the historiography of the subject. The essays in Part II consider a number of case-histories. They present important revisionist scholarship and original contributions on topics drawn from ancient, early modern and more recent philosophy. All the essays have been specially commissioned, and the contributors include many of the leading figures in the field. The volume as a whole will be of vital interest to everyone concerned with the study of philosophy and of its history. (shrink)
As historians of science increasingly turn to work on recent (post 1945) science, the historiographical and methodological problems associated with the history of contemporary science are debated with growing frequency and urgency. This book brings together authorities on the history, historiography and methodology of recent and contemporary science to review the problems facing historians of contemporary science, technology and medicine and to explore new ways forward. The chapters explore topics which will be of ever increasing interest to historians of (...) postwar science, including the difficulties of accessing and using secret archival material, the interactions between archivists, historians and scientists and the politics of evidence and historical accounts. (shrink)
The use of general and universal laws in historiography has been the subject of debate ever since the end of the nineteenth century. Since the 1970s there has been a growing consensus that general laws such as those in the natural sciences are not applicable in the scientific writing of history. We will argue against this consensus view, not by claiming that the underlying conception of what historiography is—or should be—is wrong, but by contending that it is based (...) on a misconception of what general laws such as those of the natural sciences are. We will show that a revised notion of law, one inspired by the work of Sandra D. Mitchell, in tandem with Jim Woodward’s notion of “invariance,” is indeed applicable to historiography, much in the same way as it is to most other scientific disciplines. Having developed a more adequate account of general laws, we then show, by means of three examples, that what are called “pragmatic laws” and “invariance” do in fact play a role in history in several interesting ways. These examples—from cultural history, economic history, and the history of religion—have been selected on the basis of their diversity in order to illustrate the widespread use of pragmatic laws in history. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is analyse the notion of Central Europe used in historiography. The author reconstructs different meanings of this term used in the works of George Schopflin, Peter Burke, Oskar Halecki, Piotr Wandycz. This notion has not only geographic but also social and historical meaning.
Organized thematically, this important five-volume set brings together key essays from the field of historical studies. Including an extensive general introduction by the editor in the first volume, as well as shorter individual introductions in each of the following volumes, this set is essential reading for scholars and students alike. Coverage includes: 1. Foundations - The Classic Tradition - The Old Cultural History - Economic History 2: Society - Social History - Marxism - Annales - History of Mentalities 3: Ideas (...) - History of Ideas/ Intellectual History - History of Science - History of the Arts - History of Religion - History of Sexuality. 4: Culture - History and Anthropology - Microhistory - New Cultural History - History and Memory - The Poetics of History - Narrativity. Postmodernist Historiography and its Critics 5: Politics - Political History - Imperialism and Postcolonial History - World History - World-Systems Analysis. (shrink)
This paper surveys the parallel fates of the notion of the empirical in philosophy of science in the 20th century and the notion of experience as evidence in one important line of debate in historiography/philosophy of history. The focus concerns the presumably crucial role some notion of the empirical plays in the assessment of knowledge claims. The significance of 'the empirical' disappears on the assumption that theories either determine what counts as experience or explain away any apparently discordant evidence. (...) One consequence of this has been the suggestion that the analysis of meaning somehow replaces or supplants that played by evidence qua fact. This dispute impacts in parallel ways the turf wars between philosophers of science and practitioners of science studies as well as disputes in historiography between literary theorists and those not so kindly disposed. The parallels suggest why historiographic debate has stalled for three decades. (shrink)
We analyze the developments in mathematical rigor from the viewpoint of a Burgessian critique of nominalistic reconstructions. We apply such a critique to the reconstruction of infinitesimal analysis accomplished through the efforts of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass; to the reconstruction of Cauchy’s foundational work associated with the work of Boyer and Grabiner; and to Bishop’s constructivist reconstruction of classical analysis. We examine the effects of a nominalist disposition on historiography, teaching, and research.
This paper aims to apply contemporary theories of causation to historiography. The main purpose is to show that historians can use the concept of causation in a variety of ways, each of which is associated with different historiographical claims and different kinds of argumentation. Through this application, it will also become clear, contrary to what is often stated, that historical narratives are (in a specific way) causal, and that micro-history can be seen as a response to a very specific (...) (causal) problem of Braudelian macro-history. (shrink)
Historiography in a metaphysical mode Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9524-6 Authors Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, CETCOPRA/Université Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, 17 Rue de la Sorbonne, 75231 Paris Cedex05, France Jan Golinski, Department of History, University of New Hampshire, 20 Academic Way, Durham, NH 03824, USA Lissa L. Roberts, Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies (STePS), University of Twente, Postbox 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands John McEvoy, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Journal Metascience Online (...) ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
Historians of science, like all historians, know well that every account of the history of science is necessarily an interpretation of the history of science. It requires decisions on what is important and what not, it requires ordering, contextualizing, and interpreting the available material, and presenting the results in a final form that sounds plausible to readers. Because a majority of the readers of histories of science are scientists, the degree of plausibility and acceptability depends on what scientists expect from (...) the historiography of science. As a rule, scientists expect much, too much than historians of science can fulfill without giving up their scholarly standards. Indeed, many scientist wish to read entertaining stories that make science, or their discipline, look particular attractive and interesting to a broader public. They may have their personal heroes, schools, or nations that they expect to be duly honored and celebrated. They want historians to focus on what they consider essential in order to carve socio-historical identities of disciplines or subdisciplines. They like to see progress in the historical development with one or the other revolution. They are yearning for meaning of the historical whole, such that individual scientific activities, including their own, make sense in the whole, and that one can draw extrapolations from the past to provide directions and goals for the future. In order to meet all these expectations, a meta-narrative is required that professional historians are reluctant to adopt. And so scientists are inclined to write their own histories of science for personal satisfaction. In chemistry, the most powerful meta-narrative that satisfies all the mentioned and other historiographic needs of chemists is a story about “chemistry versus nature”. It was invented and is still cultivated by chemists alone, without support and without objections thus far, from historians of chemistry. While the story has provided strong metaphysical orientation to chemists, it has caused rather alienation and hostility outside of chemistry. In this paper I will provide a brief history of the meta-narrative “chemistry versus nature”.. (shrink)
This paper argues that evaluation of the truth and rationality of past scientific theories is both possible and profitable. The motivation for this enterprise is traced to recent discussions by I. Lakatos, L. Laudan and others on the import of history for the philosophy of science; several objections to it are considered and T. S. Kuhn is found to advance the most substantive. An argument for establishing judgements of rationality and truth in the face of scientific revolutions is presented; finally (...) evidence is offered for the value of such assessments to historiography and to debates on scientific progress. (shrink)
The author argues that the pragmatically oriented historiography of science that recently has been so strongly recommended has fallen into the mistake of focusing on scientists' circumstantial attempts to fix beliefs without discussing the scientific importance of the beliefs in the first place. This mistake has led historians of science to engage in pointless exercises, made them mute about crucial aspects of the development of science, and, above all, prevented them from avoiding, in a satisfactory way, the ghost of (...) "triumphalism." On the other hand, so-called traditional historiography of science is not vulnerable to any of these charges. Key Words: history of science sociology of science scientific revolution SSK. (shrink)
Counterfactual reasoning is broadly implicated in causal claims made by historians. However, this point is more generally recognized and accepted by economic historians than historians of science. A good site for examining alternative appeals to counterfactuals is to consider "what if" the Scientific Revolution had not occurred in seventeenth-century Europe. Two alternative interpretations are analyzed: that the revolution would eventually have happened somewhere else ("overdeterminism") or that the revolution would not have happened at all ("underdeterminism"). Broadly speaking, these two interpretations (...) correspond to the respective attitudes of philosophers and historians to the development of science. However, a case is presented for synthesizing the two interpretations into a normative historiography of science that would allow past and present concerns to interrogate each other. This exercise in counterfactual reasoning can be imagined in the spirit of a time traveler who aims to persuade, rather than simply understand, the natives he or she encounters. (shrink)
Stepping-up the historiography of peripheral popularisation Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9454-8 Authors Aileen Fyfe, School of History, University of St Andrews, St Katharine’s Lodge, The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AR UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In this paper, I take up Herman Paul’s suggestion to analyze the process of writing history in terms of virtues. In contrast to Paul, however, I argue that the concept of virtue used here should not be based on virtue epistemology, but rather on virtue ethics. The reason is that virtue epistemology is discriminative towards non-coginitive virtues and incompatible with the Ankersmitian/Whitean view of historiography as a multivocal path from historical reality to historical representation. Virtue ethics on the other (...) hand, more specifically those forms of virtue ethics which emphasize the uncodifiability thesis, is very capable of providing such an account. In order to make this somewhat more concrete, I distinguish four important traits of virtue ethics, and I try to make clear how these can be interpreted with respect to the writing of history. (shrink)
This paper emphasizes the crucial role of variation, at several different levels, for a detailed historical understanding of the development of the biomedical sciences. Going beyond valuable recent studies that focus on model organisms, experimental systems and instruments, we argue that all of these categories can be accommodated within our approach, which pays special attention to organismal and cultural variation. Our empirical examples are drawn in particular from recent historical studies of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century genetics and physiology. Based on (...) the quasi-paradoxical conclusion that biological and cultural variation both constrains and enables innovation in the biomedical sciences, we argue that more attention should be paid to variation as an analytical category in the historiography of the life sciences. (shrink)
To begin, the so-called ‘selectivity of historical judgment’ is discussed. According to it, writing history requires a comparative criterion of historical relevance. This criterion contains philosophical elements. In Kuhn’s case, the criterion directs historical research and presentation away from Whiggish historiography by postulating a hermeneutic reading of historical sources. This postulate implies some sort of internalism, some sort of rationality of scientific development, and historical realism. To conclude, some consequences of Kuhn’s anti-Whiggism are discussed.Para empezar, se discute la llamada (...) “selectividad del juicio histórico”. De acuerdo con ello, escribir historia requiere un criterio comparativo de relevancia histórica. Este criterio contiene elementos filosóficos. En el caso de Kuhn, el criterio aleja la investigación y la presentación histórica de la historiografía Whig al postular una lectura hermenéutica de las fuentes históricas. Este postulado implica alguna clase de internismo, de racionalidad del desarrollo científico y realismo histórico. Para concluir, se discuten algunas consecuencias de la postura anti-Whig de Kuhn. (shrink)
Contacts between Polish historians, French historians and French centers of historiography - espcially with the prestigious milieu of Fernand Braudel's Annales - were unusual and extraordinary in comparison with other forms of scientific cooperation with foreign countries: both with the West and the “friendly countries.“ Because of the undeniable uniqueness of these relations many scholars from various countries claim that the annalistic methodology “influnced“ Polish historiography. What is characteristic, however, is that these statements are most often completely a (...) priori. This paper is a reflection on the nature of the methodological influence of one historical school on the other and discusses such a possibility, taking into consideration models of circulation of ideas proposed by Pierre Bourdieu and Jerzy Maternicki. It is also an attempt at answering whether historical sciences are able to freely interfere on a supra-national level or whether they are by nature characterized by provincialism, understood here as a limitation to national frameworks outside of which they cannot be understood. (shrink)
Considering two recent trends in the Humanities – the cultural turn and the increase of critical sociohistorical reflections on a global level – in this paper it should be looked at their influences especially on philosophy. One of these influences can be located in the emergence of “intercultural philosophy” since the 1990s which calls for a reorientation of philosophy in general. Regarding mainly one of the favored methods, the polylogue, it is important to take into account the postcolonial perspective, too. (...) For such an interculturally and postcolonially motivated approach there are two tasks which are highly relevant: 1) the deconstruction of history in direction towards a new critical historiography and 2) the due reflection of crucial philosophical concepts and categories in direction towards a conceptual decolonization. Mainly the latter, in my opinion, marks a necessary and already overdue project for rethinking the philosophical vocabulary and for overcoming its colonial impact. Perhaps this may finally become a really intercultural philosophical project in which philosophers engage wherever they may be from. (shrink)
This essay investigates the problem of reconciling contingent historical facts and immutable dogma in light of two different models of figural historiography, presented respectively in John Henry Newman’s Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine and Henri de Lubac’s Catholicism: A Study of Dogma in Relation to the Corporate Destiny of Mankind. Although Newman and de Lubac’s approaches to history were quite different, they are fundamentally complementary.
This article contributes to the project of historicizing the emergence of printed books as a mass cultural form in the 20th century and after, in addition to exploring the political-economic struggles both occasioning and occasioned by their constitution as such. In doing so, it both models and reflects on what a possible historiography of technology "after social constructionism" might look like. More specifically, it attempts to account for the behind-the-scenes or "back office" processes through which commodification takes place in (...) the sphere of book distribution, and it does so by focusing principally on communication and information technologies such as the international standard book number (ISBN) and machine readable bar codes. This history, overall, complements the more hopeful narratives of mass culture's democratizing potential, by telling a story about how increased opportunities for middle class social advancement depend on intensified - and intensely technological - work processes for those employed in the sphere of commodity distribution. This essay demonstrates, moreover, how dominant metaphors and frameworks that have guided Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) research (e.g., "actor-networks," "seamless webs," and so forth) must be amended to account better for power, contradiction, and antagonism within the history of technology. (shrink)
Following James Rule and Colin Clark, a single?theory?driven approach to scientific inquiry which focuses on testing particular theories can be distinguished from an explanation?driven approach which is open to all observations and whose results do not cease to have value with the passing of a particular theory. Several ?decision points? in the historiography of the Great Depression are examined and it is shown that the decisions made at each point reflect a single?theory?driven orientation. It is argued that the single?theory?driven (...) approach likely characterizes other fields of Economics, and also that this paper's method of applying a ?test? to various decision points in the evolution of economic thought is of widespread utility. The likely cost of a single?theory?driven bias in terms of our collective understanding is discussed. (shrink)
German Idealism develops its philosophy of history as the theory of becoming absolute and as absolute knowledge. Historism also originates from Hegel's and Schelling's discovery of absolute historicity as it turns against Idealism's philosophy of history by emphasizing the singular and unique in the process of history. German Idealism and Historism can be considered as the central German contribution to the history of ideas. Since Idealism became most influential for modern philosophy and Historism for modern historiography, they are analyzed (...) in this volume in a collaboration of philosophers and historians. German Idealism is presented in Schelling and its critics Schlegel, Baader, and Nietzsche; Historism in Ranke, Droysen, Burckhardt, and Treitschke. The volume further presents the impact of Idealism and Historism on present German approaches to the philosophy of history and outlines the debates on the possibility of a philosophy of history and on the methodology of the historical sciences. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction. Unfounding times: the idea and ideal of ancient history in Western historical thought Alexandra Lianeri; Part I. Theorising Western Time: Concepts and Models: 1. Time's authority François Hartog; 2. Exemplarity and anti-exemplarity in Early Modern Europe Peter Burke; 3. Greek philosophy and Western history: a philosophy-centred temporality Giuseppe Cambiano; 4. Historiography and political theology: Momigliano and the end of history Howard Caygill; Part II. Ancient History and Modern Temporalities: 5. The making of a bourgeois (...) antiquity. Wilhelm von Humboldt and Greek history Stefan Rebenich; 6. Modern histories of Ancient Greece: genealogies, contexts and eighteenth-century narrative historiography Giovanna Ceserani; 7. Acquiring (a) historicity: Greek history, temporalities and eurocentrism in the Sattelzeit Kostas Vlassopoulos; 8. Herodotus and Thucydides in the view of nineteenth-century German historians Ulrich Muhlack; 9. Monumentality and the meaning of the past in ancient and modern historiography Neville Morley; Part III. Unfounding Time In and Through Ancient Historical Thought: 10. Thucydides and social change: between akribeia and universality Rosalind Thomas; 11. Historia magistra vitae in Herodotus and Thucydides? The exemplary use of the past, and ancient and modern temporalities Jonas Grethlein; 12. Repetition and exemplarity in historical thought: ancient Rome and the ghosts of modernity Ellen O'Gorman; 13. Time and authority in the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus Michael Williams; Part IV. Afterword: 14. Ancient history in the eighteenth century Oswyn Murray; 15. Seeing in and through time John Dunn. (shrink)
Abstract: Pragmatism involves simultaneous commitments to modes of inquiry that are philosophical and historical. This article begins by demonstrating this point as it is evidenced in the historicist pragmatisms of William James and John Dewey. Having shown that pragmatism focuses philosophical attention on concrete historical processes, the article turns to a discussion of the specific historiographical commitments consistent with this focus. This focus here is on a pragmatist version of historical inquiry in terms of the central historiographical categories of the (...) object of historical inquiry and mode of historical periodization. After describing the basic historiographical consequences of pragmatism's historicism, the article moves to a discussion of the philosophical results of this historicism. The focus here is on the role that historical inquiry can play in the general philosophical perspective of pragmatism as well as on some recent texts that exemplify the dual pragmatist commitment to philosophy and history. (shrink)
This article investigates an intertwined systematic and historical view on theories of matter. It follows an approach brought forward by Hermann Weyl around 1925, applies it to recent theories of matter in physics (including geometrodynamics and quantum gravity), and embeds it into a more general philosophical framework. First, I shall discuss the physical and philosophical problems of a unified field theory on the basis of Weyl's own abandonment of his 1918 ‘pure field theory’ in favour of an ‘agent theory’ of (...) matter. The difference between agent and field theories of matter is then used to establish a sort of dialectic meta-view. With reference to Weyl this view can be understood as being a particular Fichtean transcendental idealist approach which attempts to combine the strengths of the Husserlian phenomenology and Cassirer's neo-Kantianism. (shrink)
The scholarly career of Professor Chad Hansen has been devoted in large measure to an elucidation of the relationship between the classical Chinese language and the structure and aims of pre-Qin philosophical thought. His “mass-noun” hypothesis of classical Chinese thought, his notion of dao 道 as “guiding discourse,” and his clarifications of the significance of Mohism are marked achievements from which all of us have benefited immensely. In the opening chapters of A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought, Hansen prefaces his (...) interpretation of how the Chinese language lends uniqueness to its philosophical tradition with a sharp contrast to Indo-European language and thought. Hansen attempts to show how the Indo-European .. (shrink)
This original work caps years of thought by Leonard Krieger about the crisis of the discipline of history. His mission is to restore history's autonomy while attacking the sources of its erosion in various "new histories," which borrow their principles and methods from disciplines outside of history. Krieger justifies the discipline through an analysis of the foundations on which various generations of historians have tried to establish the coherence of their subject matter and of the convergence of historical patterns. The (...) heart of Krieger's narrative is an insightful analysis of theories of history from the classical period to the present, with a principal focus on the modern period. Krieger's exposition covers such figures as Ranke, Hegel, Comte, Marx, Acton, Troeltsch, Spengler, Braudel, and Foucault, among others, and his discussion involves him in subtle distinctions among terms such as historism, historicism, and historicity. He points to the impact on history of academic political radicalism and its results: the new social history. Krieger argues for the autonomy of historical principles and methods while tracing the importation in the modern period of external principles for historical coherence. Time's Reasons is a profound attempt to rejuvenate and restore integrity to the discipline of history by one of the leading masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography. As such, it will be required reading for all historiographers and intellectual historians of the modern period. (shrink)
The paper focuses on the concept of matter and the material in Edgar Zilsel’s considerations about historiographical methods in the context of the Marxist debates on the materialist conception of history in the 1920s and 1930s (György Lukács, Max Adler). It sheds light on Zilsel’s understanding of matter as fluctuating, interfering processes in the lapse of time and the related concept of irreversible laws and relates it to Ernst Mach’s philosophy and to Richard Semon’s theory of mneme . Finally, it (...) shows the practical consequences of the concept of materialism in Edgar Zilsel’s epistemology. (shrink)
Kant considered it a scandal that philosophy, unlike science, had been spending its time in fruitless debates, which hindered its progress. In this session, we question Kant’s assessment, and suggest an approach to the history of philosophy that considers controversy as essential in the evolution of philosophical ideas. In his recent work on the Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel has demonstrated the role of the intense debate around radically new philosophical ideas in creating the conceptual underpinnings of revolution and of a new (...) social order. Randall Collins, from another perspective, has highlighted the role of debate in the rise and fall of philosophical schools. Both have thus shown that, without a decidedly ‘dialectical’ approach to intellectual history, especially to the history of philosophy, its understanding and influence can hardly be grasped. As this session will show, this is true not only at the macro-level of relatively long term intellectual conflicts and their effects, but also at the micro-level of detailed analysis and understanding of philosophical texts – their concepts, theses, arguments, theories, and relevance. What we mean by ‘dialectical reframing’ owes much, of course, to the various traditional meanings of ‘dialectics’. Yet, emphasizing the actual activity of debate as the engine of philosophical and intellectual change, permits to investigate how key ideas, such as rationality, emerge through debate, rather than being its given a priori condition. (shrink)
Historians, the good ones, mark a century by intellectual and social boundaries rather than by the turn of the calendar page. Only through fortuitous accident might occasions of consequence occur at the very beginning of a century. Imaginative historians do tend, however, to invest a date like 1800 with powers that attract events of significance. It is thus both fortunate and condign that Abiology@ came to linguistic and conceptual birth with the new century. Precisely in 1800, Karl Friedrich Burdach, a (...) romantic naturalist, suggested that his coinage Biologie be used to indicate the study of human beings from a morphological, physiological, and psychological perspective.i Many other neologisms of the period (and Burdach issued quite a few) were stillborn or survived only for a short while. Biologie, though, fit the time, and with slight adjustment received its modern meaning two years later at the hands of the Naturphilosoph Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus. In his multi-volume treatise Biologie, oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur (1802-1822), Treviranus announced: AThe objects of our research will be the different forms and manifestations of life, the conditions and laws under which these phenomena occur, and the causes through which they have been effected. The science that concerns itself with these objects we will indicate by the name biology [Biologie] or the doctrine of life [Lebenslehre].@ii Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, also in 1802, employed the term with comparable intention.iii In the work of both of these biologists, the word became immediately associated with the theory of the transmutation of speciesCa new term in recognition of the new laws of life. Treviranus thought the progressive deposition of fossils.. (shrink)