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Understanding History An Introduction to Analytical Philosophy of History

Gorman, Jonathan, 1946- ;Department of Philosophy. the University of Ottawa, sponsor.

Ottawa, Ontario : University of Ottawa Press [1992]

Online access

  • Title:
    Understanding History An Introduction to Analytical Philosophy of History
  • Author/Creator: Gorman, Jonathan, 1946-
  • Department of Philosophy. the University of Ottawa, sponsor.
  • Publisher: Ottawa, Ontario : University of Ottawa Press
  • Creation Date: [1992]
  • Language: English
  • Physical Description: 1 online resource (137 pages) : digital, PDF files(s).
  • Format Details: text file
  • Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
  • Subjects: Historiography; History -- Philosophy
  • Description: Has any question about the historical past ever been finally answered? Of course there is much disagreement among professional historians about what happened in the past and how to explain it. But this incisive study goes one step further and brings into question the very ability of historians to gather and communicate genuine knowledge about the past.Understanding History applies this general question from the philosophy of history to economic history of American slaveholders. Do we understand the American slaveholders? Has the last word on the subject been said? Both the alleged “profitability” of slavery and the purported causes of the American Civil War are philosophically analyzed. Traditional narrative history and econometric history are examined and compared, and their different philosophical assumptions made explicit. The problem of justifying historical methodologies is first set in the wider context of the philosophical problem of knowledge, then lucidly explained and resolved along pragmatic lines. The novelty of Gorman’s approach lies in its comparison of narrative with econometric history, its analysis of empathetic understanding in terms of cost-benefit analysis, and its elucidation of the metaphysical presuppositions of empiricism. It stands out especially for the clarity, rigor, and simplicity of its arguments.
  • Notes: Includes bibliographical references.
  • Contents: History: Practice and Theory
    Traditional History
    Rational Economic Man
    Economic Reality.
  • Restrictions: Open Access Unrestricted online access
  • OCLC Number: 741269527
  • Identifier: ISBN0-7766-2701-5;ISBN0-7766-1737-0