Evidence and events in history

Philosophy of Science 29 (2):175-194 (1962)
The first part of the paper distinguishes between a real past which has nothing to do with historical events and an historical past made up of hypothetical events introduced for the purpose of explaining historical evidence. Attention is next paid to those so-called ancillary historical disciplines which study historical evidence, and it is noted that the historical event is brought in to explain the particular constellation of different kinds of historical evidence which are judged to belong together. The problem of explaining events is then taken up, and an attempt is made to defend the view that such explanation must presuppose general laws. And this is followed by a discussion, partly speculative, of social-historical laws. The final section of the paper tries to argue that the subjective intentions of individuals are irrelevant to historical explanation
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DOI 10.1086/287860
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