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Aviezer Tucker | Historicism: Historiography Out of Bounds
17. 3. 2021 | 15:00 - 16:30
The article develops a concept of historicism, parallel to Psychologism and Scientism: A disciplinary overreach, overstepping of disciplinary boundaries. I outline and distinguish five possible types of historicism, founded on distinct and often contradictory philosophies of historiography, its ontology and epistemology, and where they are out of bounds: ontological, idiographic, scientistic, introspective and genealogical historicisms. I criticize the first four as inconsistent with historiography to endorse the genealogical sense, as acceptance of unreliable or dependent evidence into the bounds of historiography and the subsequent application of standard “in bounds” historiographic methods of inference to such evidence. The paper demonstrates how debates over historicism and its meaning are useful for fleshing out and sorting competing philosophical views about the ontology and epistemology of historiography and their boundaries.