Is historiography a science? When people ask this question, they are usually either intellectually curious about how different disciplines are related to each other or about the epistemological trustworthiness and intellectual respectfulness of historiography. It is not clear, however, how these questions should be answered. We could give some intuitive answers or ask scientists and historians how they see the issue. However, this strategy would not work for three reasons.
The History of Experience: a history like anything else?1
Last week, I attended the conference “History of Experience: Methodologies and Practices” at the University of Tampere, Finland, organized by the “Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences” (HEX), based at Tampere University. At the conference, I gave a presentation with the same title as this post has (see here for the slides).
If it is true that the good die almost unnoticed, what about the best? On Febru-ary 24th 2020, Mario A. Bunge passed away. For vulgar inductivists this is a surprising event, given that Bunge was born on 21st September, 1919. Those who know (some of) his work consider this to be a tremendous loss to intellectual culture in general and philosophy specifically. Most readers, to the contrary, will probably ask: Mario who?
Oulu University’s Centre for the Philosophical Study of History has posted, as the first of its Scholars in Conversation series, an interview with Prof. Herman Paul (University of Leiden) by Prof. Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKHF18rPemQ.
Sometimes philosophy of history is called a ‘field,’ comparable to other ‘fields’ like history, sociology or biology. At other times it is linked with theory of history, and these two are understood to form a ‘field’ together. But is it justified to talk about a field in either of these cases?
There’s a stupid saying that if you are not a liberal when you are young you have no heart and if you are not a conservative when you are old you have no brains. I’ve tried to fix this idiocy by adding that if you are not a revolutionary when you are old you have no soul. I am much more radical as an old man than I was as a young man for the good reason that I’ve seen enough of beastliness to tolerate repetitions of it no longer and instead to oppose them as they occur daily and to speak for stopping their sources, as far as it is in my little power to do so, especially in the fields of a