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A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography

Aviezer Tucker (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-5152-1
576 pages
June 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography (1444351524) 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 ix

Acknowledgments xi

Glossary of Terms xii

1 Introduction 1
Aviezer Tucker

Part I Major Fields 7

2 Philosophy of Historiography 9
Peter Kosso

3 Philosophy of History 26
ZdenFk VaSíCek

4 Philosophical Issues in Natural History and Its Historiography 44
Carol E. Cleland

5 Historians and Philosophy of Historiography 63
John Zammito

Part II Basic Problems 85

6 Historiographic Evidence and Confirmation 87
Mark Day and Gregory Radick

7 Causation in Historiography 98
Aviezer Tucker

8 Historiographic Counterfactuals 109
Elazar Weinryb

9 Historical Necessity and Contingency 120
Yemima Ben-Menahem

10 Explanation in Historiography 131
Graham Macdonald and Cynthia Macdonald

11 Historiographic Understanding 142
Giuseppina D’Oro

12 Colligation 152
C. Behan McCullagh

13 The Laws of History 162
Stephan Berry

14 Historiographic Objectivity 172
Paul Newall

15 Realism about the Past 181
Murray Murphey

16 Anti-realism about the Past 190
Fabrice Pataut

17 Narrative and Interpretation 199
F. R. Ankersmit

18 The Ontology of the Objects of Historiography 209
Lars Udehn

19 Origins: Common Causes in Historiographic Reasoning 220
Aviezer Tucker

20 Phylogenetic Inference 231
Matt Haber

21 Historicism 243
Robert D’Amico

22 Ethics and the Writing of Historiography 253
Jonathan Gorman

23 Logical Fallacies of Historians 262
Paul Newall

24 Historical Fallacies of Historians 274
Carlos Spoerhase and Colin G. King

Part III Philosophy and Sub-fields of Historiography 285

25 Philosophy of History of Science 287
Nicholas Jardine

26 Philosophies of Historiography and the Social Sciences 297
Harold Kincaid

27 The Philosophy of Evolutionary Theory 307
Michael Ruse

28 The Philosophy of Geology 318
Rob Inkpen

29 Philosophy of Archaeology 330
Ben Jeffares

30 Reductionism: Historiography and Psychology 342
Cynthia Macdonald and Graham Macdonald

31 Historiography and Myth 353
Mary Lefkowitz

32 Historiography and Memory 362
Marie-Claire Lavabre

33 Historiographic Schools 371
Christopher Lloyd

Part IV Classical Schools and Philosophers of Historiography and History 381

34 Leopold Ranke 383
Thomas Gil

35 Scientific Historiography 393
Chris Lorenz

36 Darwin 404
John S. Wilkins

37 Logical Empiricism and Logical Positivism 416
Krzysztof Brzechczyn

38 Jewish and Christian Philosophy of History 427
Samuel Moyn

39 Muslim Philosophy of History 437
Zaid Ahmad

40 Vico 446
Joseph Mali

41 Kant and Herder 457
Sharon Anderson-Gold

42 Hegel 468
Tom Rockmore

43 Neo-Kantianism 477
Charles Bambach

44 Marx 488
Tom Rockmore

45 Collingwood and Croce 498
Stein Helgeby

46 Phenomenology 508
David Weberman

47 Jan Patocka 518
Ivan Chvatík

48 Hermeneutics 529
Rudolf A. Makkreel

49 Postmodernism 540
Beverley Southgate

50 Philosophy of History at the End of the Cold War 550
Krishan Kumar

Index 561

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Author Information

Aviezer Tucker is a Gvirtzman Memorial Foundation Fellow and teaches at the CEVRO Institute in Prague.  He 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 a past president of the Society for the 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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