Philosophy of Historiography and History

Aviezer Tucker


The seminar focuses on Epistemic issues about knowledge of the past and metaphysical issues about the ultimate constitution of the past.  Topics will include determination and underdetermination of the past by the future and the future by the past, causation, evidence, testimony, objectivity, explanation, contingency and necessity, counterfactuals, realism and anti-realism, and conspiracy theories.

The language of the discussion will be English.  The requirement is a final paper that can be written in English or Czech (or French or Hebrew).


Selected bibliography:

Mark Day, The Philosophy of History: An Introduction (Continuum 2008)

Peter Kosso, Knowing the Past, (Humanity Books 2003)

Aviezer Tucker ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography (Blackwell 2009)

Aviezer Tucker, Our Knowledge of the Past: Philosophy of historiography (Cambridge 2009)



Leon Goldstein, Impediments to Epistemology in the Philosophy of History, History and Theory, 25-4 (1986), 82-100.

Wilhelm Windelband, Rectoral Address Strasbourg 1894, History and Theory, 19-2 (1980), 169-185.

John Miligan, Treatment of a Historical Source, History and Theory, 18-2 (1979), 177-196.

Paul Thagard, Testimony Credibility and Explanatory Coherence, Erkenntnis, 63 (2005), 295-316.

W. V. Quine, On Empirically Equivalent Systems of the World, Erkenntnis, 9(1975), 313-328.

Richard Friedman, Route Analysis of Credibility and Hearsay, Yale Law Journal, 96 (1987), 667-742.

Nick Jardine , Explanatory Genealogies and Historical Testimony, Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2008, pp. 160-179

Carol Cleland, Methodological and Epistemic Differences Between Historical Science and Experimental Science, Philosophy of Science, 69 (2002), 474-496.

Derek Turner, Local Underdetermination in Historical Science, Philosophy of Science, 72 (2005), 209-230

C. Behan McCulagh, Historical Realism, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 40 (1980), 420-425.

Leon Goldstein, Against Historical Realism, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 40 (1980) 426-429.

Jesse Hobbs, Ex-Post Facto Explanation, Journal of Philosophy, 90 (1993), 117-136.

Aviezer Tucker, Holistic Explanations of Events, Philosophy, Vol. 79 (2004), 573-589.

Yemima Ben Menahem, Historical Contingency, Ratio, 10 (1997), 99-107.

Keeley, Brian L. (1999) Of Conspiracy Theories, Journal of Philosophy, 96, 3, 109-126.

Keeley, Brian L. (2003) Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition! More Thoughts on Conspiracy Theory, Journal of Social Philosophy, 34, 1, 104-110.

Basham, Lee (2003) Malevolent Global Conspiracy, Journal of Social Philosophy, 34,1, 91-103