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A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography

Aviezer Tucker (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-4908-2
576 pages
November 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography (1405149086) cover image


The fifty entries in this Companion cover the main issues in the philosophies of historiography and history, including natural history and the practices of historians.
  • Written by an international and multi-disciplinary group of experts
  • A cutting-edge updated picture of current research in the field
  • Part of the renowned Blackwell Companions series
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors.


Glossary of Terms.

1. Introduction (Aviezer Tucker, Prague).

Part I Major Fields.

2. Philosophy of Historiography (Peter Kosso, Northern Arizona University).

3. Philosophy of History (Zdeněk Vašíček, Institute for Contemporary History, Prague).

4. Philosophical Issues in Natural History and Its Historiography (Carol E. Cleland, University of Colorado, Boulder).

5. Historians and Philosophy of Historiography (John Zammito, Rice University).

Part II: Basic Problems.

6. Historiographic Evidence and Confirmation (Mark Day, Nottingham-Trent University and Gregory Radick, University of Leeds).

7. Causation in Historiography (Aviezer Tucker, Prague).

8. Historiographic Counterfactuals (Elazar Weinryb, Open University of Israel).

9. Historical Necessity and Contingency (Yemima Ben-Menahem, Hebrew University).

10. Explanation in Historiography (Graham Macdonald, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and Cynthia Macdonald, Queen’s University, Belfast).

11. Historiographic Understanding (Guiseppina D’Oro, Keele University).

12. Colligation (C. Behan McCullagh, La Trobe University).

13. The Laws of History (Stephan Berry, Berlin).

14. Historiographic Objectivity (Paul Newall, British Royal Navy).

15. Realism about the Past (Murray Murphey, University of Pennsylvania).

16. Anti-realism about the Past (Fabrice Pataut, Institut de l’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques, Paris).

17. Narrative and Interpretation (F. R. Ankersmit, University of Groningen).

18. The Ontology of the Objects of Historiography (Lars Udehn, Stockholm University).

19. Origins: Common Causes in Historiographic Reasoning (Aviezer Tucker, Prague).

20. Phylogenetic Inference (Matt Haber, University of Utah).

21. Historicism (Robert D’Amico, University of Florida).

22. Ethics and the Writing of Historiography (Jonathan Gorman, Queen’s University, Belfast).

23. Logical Fallacies of Historians (Paul Newall, British Royal Navy).

24. Historical Fallacies of Historians (Carlos Spoerhase, Humboldt University of Berlin and Colin G. King, Humboldt University of Berlin).

Part III: Philosophy and Sub-fields of Historiography.

25. Philosophy of History of Science (Nicholas Jardine, University of Cambridge).

26. Philosophies of Historiography and the Social Sciences (Harold Kincaid, University of Alabama, Birmingham).

27. The Philosophy of Evolutionary Theory (Michael Ruse, Florida State University).

28. The Philosophy of Geology (Rob Inkpen, University of Portsmouth).

29. Philosophy of Archaeology (Ben Jeffares, Australia National University).

30. Reductionism: Historiography and Psychology (Cynthia Macdonald, Queen’s University, Belfast and Graham Macdonald, University of Canterbury, New Zealand).

31. Historiography and Myth (Mary Lefkowitz, Wellesley College).

32. Historiography and Memory (Marie-Claire Lavabre, CNRS, France).

33. Historiographic Schools (Christopher Lloyd, University of New England).

Part IV: Classical Schools and Philosophers of Historiography and History.

34. Leopold Ranke (Thomas Gil, Technical University of Berlin).

35. Scientific Historiography (Chris Lorenz, VU University of Amsterdam).

36. Darwin (John S. Wilkins, University of Queensland).

37. Logical Empiricism and Logical Positivism (Krzysztof Brzechczyn, Adam Mickiewitz University/Institute of National Remembrance, Poland).

38. Jewish and Christian Philosophy of History (Samuel Moyn, Columbia University).

39. Muslim Philosophy of History (Zaid Ahmad, Universiti Putra, Malaysia).

40. Vico (Joseph Mali, Tel Aviv University).

41. Kant and Herder (Sharon Anderson-Gold, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

42. Hegel (Tom Rockmore, Duquesne University).

43. Neo-Kantianism (Charles Bambach, University of Dallas).

44. Marx (Tom Rockmore, Duquesne University).

45. Collingwood and Croce (Stein Helgeby, Melbourne).

46. Phenomenology (David Weberman, Central European University, Hungary).

47. Jan Patočka (Ivan Chvatik, Czech Academy of Science).

48. Hermeneutics (Rudolf A. Makkreel, Emory University).

49. Postmodernism (Beverley Southgate, University of Hertfordshire).

50. Philosophy of History at the End of the Cold War (Krishnan Kumar, University of Virginia).


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Author Information

Aviezer Tucker has held research positions at the Australian National University, New York University, Columbia University and the Central European University in Prague. He is the author of Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography (2004) and is an editor of the Journal of Philosophy of History.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • The fifty entries provide a comprehensive and authoritative exploration of key issues in the philosophies of historiography and history
  • Written by an international and multi-disciplinary group of experts
  • A cutting-edge updated picture of current research in the field
  • Part of the renowned Blackwell Companions series
See More


"Like the encompassing nature of the other volumes in the Blackwell Companion to Philosophy series, undergraduate students and scholars with a serious interest in philosophical problems related to history and historiography should benefit from the newest Companion." (Reviews in Religion & Theology, 2012)

"This volume does a fine job of showing the field's connections to many of the central concerns of contemporary philosophy. Part Four offers essays addressing the traditional schools and issues of philosophy of history and historiography, as well as valuable essays on postmodernism, Muslim philosophy of history, and philosophy of history at the end of the Cold War, among other topics. Recommended." (Choice, June 2009)

"Tucker is to be congratulated…for conceiving of this work, and for soliciting, selecting, organizing, and editing its essays—all of which were written especially for the volume. [E]ach essay presents a particular author's take on a subject, often ending with further questions and suggestions. In this way it resembles a conversational partner who accompanies one along the way, stimulating further reflection as well as providing interesting information and observations. A companion literally is someone who breaks bread with another (com: with; panis: bread), and it certainly is the case that these essays—so clearly written, so mercifully manageable in length, and so sharp in focus—collectively and individually provide a great deal of food for thought.
[T]he range and scope of the volume…is impressive by any standard. The fact that the authors are world-class authorities in the areas in which they are writing, and that they have made a special effort (prodded, no doubt, by its editor), to write in clear, jargon-free prose, makes evident the appeal and usefulness of the book. Too, the book is handsomely produced and well copy-edited by Wiley-Blackwell." (Brian Fay, Journal of the Philosophy of History)

"Since the writing of history is part of the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, the philosophical questions pertaining thereto have often been isolated from each other. Not so here. This volume is full of riches."
Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin

"Anyone interested in thinking about history, from the great systems to analyzing how historians support their truth claims, will find these expert essays a splendid introduction."
Richard Vann, Senior Editor, History and Theory

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