Methodology of History

  • Authors
  • Jerzy Topolski

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 88)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction

    1. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 1-7
  3. Methodology and History

  4. Patterns of Historical Research

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 57-57
    2. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 59-66
    3. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 67-77
    4. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 78-95
    5. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 96-123
    6. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 124-168
    7. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 169-192
    8. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 193-216
  5. The Objective Methodology of History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 219-238
  6. The Pragmatic Methodology of History Theory of Source-Based and Non-Source-Based Knowledge

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 303-303
    2. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 305-359
    3. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 386-400
    4. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 401-417
  7. The Pragmatic Methodology of History:the Methods of Reconstruction of the Process of History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 429-429
    2. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 454-482
    3. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 483-535
    4. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 587-601
  8. The Apragmatic Methodology of History

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 603-603
    2. Jerzy Topolski
      Pages 643-660
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 678-690

About this book


No discipline has been more praised or more criticized than the writing of history. Cioero claimed that history teaches men how to live. Aris­ totle denied it the very name of science and regwded poetry as the higher wisdom. At various times history has been assigned a command­ ing or a demeaning statIUs in the hierarchy of sciences. Today one can admire the increasing precision and sophistication of the methods used by historia:ns. On the other hand, Thucydides' History of the PeZo­ ponesian War still serves as the ideal model of how to reconstruct the historical past. Even those who deny the possibility of an objective reconstruction of the past would themselves likie to be recorded by historians, "objectively" or not. Dislike of history and fear of its verdict are not incompatible with reverence and awe for its practitioners, the historians. So man's attitude to history is ambiguous. The controversy about history continues. Widely differing issues are at stake. Historians themselves, however, are the least engaged in the struggle. Rarely does a historian decide to open the door of his study and join in the melee about the meaning of history. More often he slams it shut and returns to his studies, oblivious of the fact that with the passage of thne the gap between his scientific work and its audience might widen. The historian does not shun the battle, he merely chooses his own battleground.


Karl R. Popper materialism objectivity probability relativism science

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1976
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-1125-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-1123-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site