How does history relate to the past? According to leading historical theorists, the relation to the past in history is reducible to evidential, psychological, practical and retrospective concerns. In contrast, this volume claims that historical relations to the past are irreducible products of the logical commitments of history as method. Ahlskog argues that the method of history shapes and enables relations to the past in historical research by invoking past perspectives of meaning for rendering reality intelligible. The book provides a much-needed philosophical clarification of key concepts in one of the most fundamental debates within the humanities today.
Table of Contents
1. The Primacy of Method in Historical Research
2. Metaphilosophy, Empiricism and the Historical Past
3. Narrativism and the Reality of the Historical Past
4. The Internal Relation Between Practice and History
5. The Presence of the Past
6. The Existential Relevance of the Historical Past
7. Historical Evidence and the Perspective of Meaning
8. Testimonial Knowledge and the Method of History
9. Historical Method and the Limits of Hermeneutics of Suspicion
10. Conclusion: History as the Primacy of Method
Jonas Ahlskog is Postdoctoral Researcher in Philosophy and History of Ideas at the Department of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University, Finland.