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Darwin-L Message Log 2:159 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<2:159>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Sat Oct 30 15:32:15 1993

Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1993 15:35:45 -0500 (CDT)
From: GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 55
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Darwinites--
Bob O'Hara, as per usuale,
has set a good example: he put his sources up for all of us to use. I should
supply refs for a couple of things, then.

I mentioned an early but useful article on the relations btw. history
and the historical sciences. That is:

Joynt, C.B. and Rescher, N. "The Problem of Uniqueness in History", in
George H. Nadel _Studies in the Philosophy of History_, Harper.

An excellent review of the whole topic of explanation in history is in
Atkinson, R.F., _Knowledge and Explanation in History_, Cornell (paper).

Finally, in what is probably the most unnerving, but exciting, piece I've
ever read on the topic, Haskell Fain (in his _Between Philosophy and
History_) argues quite convincingly that analytic philosophy of history
inevitably creeps over into metaphysical philosophy of history. This
claim, which seems to me prima facie entertainable, has serious implications
for the practicing historian of (*)science, where (*) may be filled in
as you care to fill it in. E.g., with "evolutionary biological- ".

This means, putting it as crudely as I can think of, that whenever we
push our analysis of the history of (*) in just the right sort of way,
we inevitably end up acting as Hegel did toward HIS analysis of history.
Scary.

I've got some more titles of interest in phil. hist. should anyone care to
want to lift the lid on THAT particular box of Pandorean worms.
g

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