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The Methodology of History : Synthese Library - Y. Topolski

The Methodology of History

Synthese Library

By: Y. Topolski, Olgierd Wojtasiewicz (Translator)

Hardcover

Published: 1976
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No discipline has been more praised or more criticized than the writing of history. Cioero claimed that history teaches men how to live. Aris- totle denied it the very name of science and regwded poetry as the higher wisdom. At various times history has been assigned a command- ing or a demeaning statIUs in the hierarchy of sciences. Today one can admire the increasing precision and sophistication of the methods used by historia:ns. On the other hand, Thucydides' History of the PeZo- ponesian War still serves as the ideal model of how to reconstruct the historical past. Even those who deny the possibility of an objective reconstruction of the past would themselves likie to be recorded by historians, "objectively" or not. Dislike of history and fear of its verdict are not incompatible with reverence and awe for its practitioners, the historians. So man's attitude to history is ambiguous. The controversy about history continues. Widely differing issues are at stake. Historians themselves, however, are the least engaged in the struggle. Rarely does a historian decide to open the door of his study and join in the melee about the meaning of history. More often he slams it shut and returns to his studies, oblivious of the fact that with the passage of thne the gap between his scientific work and its audience might widen. The historian does not shun the battle, he merely chooses his own battleground.

One Methodology and History.- I. The Subject Matter of the Methodology of Sciences.- 1. The main branches and aspects of the methodology of sciences.- 2. The methodology of sciences and semiotics.- 3. The methodology of sciences and the history of science.- 4. The methodology of sciences and the theory of games and of decision-making.- 5. The methodology of sciences and information theory.- 6. The methodology of sciences and epistemology.- 7. The methodology of sciences and ontological and psychological investigations.- 8. Conclusions for use in specialized methodologies.- II. The Subject Matter of the Methodology of History.- 1. Branches of the methodology of history.- 2. The pragmatic methodology of history.- 3. The apragmatic methodology of history.- 4. The objective methodology of history.- 5. The general methodology of history versus the methodologies of the various historical disciplines.- 6. The general methodology of history in relation to heuristics and source criticism. The place of the auxiliary historical disciplines.- III. The Scope of the Subject Matter (Domain) of Historical Research.- 1. Preliminary remarks.- 2. The etymology and the semantic evolution of the term history.- 3. General definitions of the subject matter of history (as a science).- 4. History as res gestae and history as historia rerum gestarum.- Two Patterns of Historical Research.- Grounds for Classification.- IV. Pragmatic Reflection.- 1. Antiquity.- 2. The Middle Ages.- V. Critical Reflection.- 1. The development of the critical pattern of research and early eruditionism.- 2. The philosophical variant of the critical pattern of historical research. Further development of instruments of historical (criticism in the 18th century.- VI. Erudite and Genetic Reflection.- 1. The grounds for singling out this pattern of reflection. The third phase of historical narration.- 2. Methodological reflection under Romanticism.- 3. The peculiarities of positivist reflections on history.- VII. Structural Reflection.- 1. The rise of a structural pattern of historical research.- 2. Philosophical inspirations of anti-positivist history.- 3. The anti-positivist philosophy of history.- 4. The characteristics of structural reflection in historical research.- 5. H. Berr and the Annales school. Other trends in France.- 6. Methodological reflection in Britain and in America.- 7. Methodological trends in German historiography.- 8. Structural historiography in other countries. Concluding remarks.- VIII. Logical Reflection.- 1. The rise of the logical reflection on science.- 2. The problem of the logical-positivist demarcation of science and metaphysics.- 3. Methodological issues in analytic philosophy.- 4. Misunderstandings over the struggle of analytic philosophy against metaphysics in history. K. Popper and I. Berlin.- 5. Trends in the logical analysis of history.- IX. Dialectical Reflection.- 1. A review of the earlier types of reflection on history.- 2. The rise of dialectical reflection on history.- 3. The novel ontological and epistemological elements in materialistic dialectic.- 4. The rise of historical materialism.- Three the Objective Methodology of History.- X. Historical Facts.- 1. Preliminary remarks.- 2. The controversy over the concept of historical fact.- 3. The main characteristics of the dialectical interpretation of historical fact. A fact as a system.- 4. Spatio-temporal determinants of historical facts.- XI. The Process of History (Causality and Determinism).- 1. The principle of causality as the basis of the statement on the regularity of historical facts.- 2. Determinism and indeterminism in history.- 3. Regularity and chance in history.- 4. The problem of an individual's free will.- 5. The role of prominent individuals in history.- 6. Fatalism and teleologism. The problem of determinism in the explanation of past events.- XII. The Process of History (Historical Regularities).- 1. The concept of historical regularities and their tentative classification.- 2. Historical regularities and principal causes.- 3. Synchronic regularities.- 4. Diachronie regularities.- 5. The regularities of historical development (synchronic-dia-chronic regularities).- 6. Stages in the process of history (social formations).- Four the Pragmatic Methodology of History. Theory of Source-Based and Non-Source-Based Knowledge.- XIII. The Nature of Historical Cognition.- 1. General description of the process of cognition.- 2. Characteristics of scientific cognition.- 3. The controversy over the nature of historical cognition.- 4. Arguments against scepticism. The characteristic traits of historical cognition.- 5. Epistemological relativism and the problem of objectivity in historical cognition.- 6. Truth in history.- 7. The concept of probability in historical research.- XIV. Questions and Answers. a General Reconstruction of Historical Research.- 1. The problem of decisions.- 2. Basic concepts in the theory of historical questions and answers.- 3. The concept of hypothesis in historical research.- 4. The structure of historical theories and methodological models.- 5. Schemata of hypothetical procedure in historical research.- XV. Theory of Source-Based Knowledge.- 1. The general concept of historical source.- 2. Earlier classifications of historical sources.- 3. A tentative solution of the problem of the classification of sources.- 4. The reading of source information (decoding).- 5. The concept of source-based knowledge and source-based data.- XVI. Theory of Non-Source-Based Knowledge.- 1. A tentative explanation of the concept of non-source-based knowledge.- 2. The structure of non-source-based knowledge. Non-source-based data.- 3. The origin of non-source-based knowledge.- 4. Current knowledge and common sense.- 5. Non-source-based scientific knowledge.- 6. Theoretical issues of the integration of science.- XVII. The Functions of Source-Based and Non-Source-Based Knowledge.- 1. An analysis of the historian's procedure from the point of view of the role of source-based and non-source-based knowledge.- 2. The functions of non-source-based knowledge!. The problem of the nominal model of questions.- 3. The functions of non-source-based knowledge2. The problem, of methodological model (selection).- 4. The functions of non-source-based data.- Five the Pragmatic Methodology of History: the Methods of Reconstruction of the Process of History.- XVIII. The Authenticity of Sources and the Reliability of Informants.- 1. The general concept of source criticism.- 2. The authenticity of sources.- 3. The rules of the examination of authenticity (external criticism).- 4. The concept of reliability ..- 5. The study of reliability (internal criticism).- 6. Problems of authorship of sources.- XIX. Methods of Establishing Historical Facts.- 1. A general reconstruction of the procedure of establishing facts.- 2. Induction and deduction in research.- 3. Induction and deduction in historical research.- 4. The direct and the indirect method of establishing facts . ..- 5. The philological (lexical) method.- 6. The geographical method.- 7. The genealogical method.- 8. The comparative method (in its territorial version).- 9. The retrogressive method (the chronological version of the comparative method).- 10. Inference from the lack of data (argumentum ex silentio).- XX. Quantitative Methods in Historical Research.- 1. An outline of the development of quantitative analyses in historical research.- 2. The concept and the objectives of historical statistics.- 3. Statistical grouping of data.- 4. Calculations by estimation and calculations based directly on sources.- 5. Exhaustive calculations versus representative samples. The chi-square test.- 6. The numerical analysis of structures.- 7. A numerical analysis of changes.- 8. Correlation analysis.- 9. Computer applications in historical research.- 10. Quantitative analyses of texts.- 11. Prospects for applications of mathematics in historical research.- XXI. The Procedure of Explanation in Historical Research.- 1. The various interpretations of historical explanation.- 2. Understanding and explanation.- 3. Types of causal explanation in historical research.- 4. Explanation of goal-oriented human actions (humanistic interpretation).- 5. Explanation by reference to dispositions.- 6. The general procedure of causal explanation. Hempel's model.- 7. Explanation by indication of conditions which are both sufficient and necessary.- 8. Explanation by indication of sufficient conditions.- 9. Explanation by pointing to necessary conditions.- 10. Explanation by reference to conditions necessary in a given situation.- 11. Explanation by reference to favourable conditions.- 12. Search for disturbing factors.- 13. Explanation by reference to more direct and less direct causes.- 14. Genetic explanation and genetic description.- XXII. Construction and Synthesis.- 1. Basic and derivative research questions.- 2. Simple and synthetic constructions.- 3. The problem of synthesis in historical research.- 4. Periodization in history.- 5. Territorial and factual scope and classification of research types.- Six the Apragmatic Methodology of History.- XXIII. The Nature and Instruments of Historical Narration.- 1. The problem of narration in the methodology of sciences.- 2. Historical narratives versus narratives in general.- 3. Types of scientific historical narratives. Chronicle writing versus historiography.- 4. Historical imagination.- 5. The language of narratives.- 6. Classifying and ordering concepts.- 7. The role of counterfactual inference.- XXIV. Components of Narratives: Historical Statements and Laws.- 1. Categories of historical statements.- 2. Spatio-temporal determinants.- 3. The controversy over historical generalizations.- 4. Types of historical generalizations.- 5. The controversy over the laws of science.- 6. Laws in historical narratives.- 7. The concept of regularities in some historical studies.- XXV. Elements of Historical Narratives: Evaluations.- 1. Valuation versus evaluations. The logical value of evaluations.- 2. The various forms of the valuating attitude of historians.- 3. The kinds of evaluations in historical narratives.- 4. The criterion of progress as the main element of proper evaluations in historiography.- 5. Historians in face of evaluations.- XXVI. The Methodological Structure of Historical Research.- 1. Criteria of classification of sciences.- 2. The anti-naturalist and the naturalist view of the social sciences.- 3. Subject-oriented and pragmatic idiographism.- 4. History versus sociology. The need for the development of social history.- 5. The tasks of history.- Index of Names.

ISBN: 9789027705501
ISBN-10: 902770550X
Series: Synthese Library
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 700
Published: 1976
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.8
Weight (kg): 1.3