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Objectivity or Solidarity? Contemporary Discussions of Pragmatism in History

Objectivity or Solidarity? Contemporary Discussions of Pragmatism in History This essay critically examines contemporary discussions of pragmatism in history. First of all, as for the ‘practice before knowledge’ argument, I point out that historical inquiry cannot be properly explained by the argument whose validity is grounded in the instinct nature of practice because historical research is a contingent, intellectual behavior. About the ‘self-correcting’ argument, I maintain that historical inquiry cannot be rendered self-correcting by the pragmatic test of truth that is, in nature, future-oriented and consequentialist given that the main goal of history is to produce, not predictions or plans of action, but retrospective beliefs, which makes the mechanism of verification through action inapplicable to history. My view on the ‘disciplinary consensus’ argument is that showing how historical beliefs are produced and confirmed within the discipline does not necessarily amount to an explanation of why we should go through the whole process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Objectivity or Solidarity? Contemporary Discussions of Pragmatism in History

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 15 (2): 20 – Jun 1, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-01502005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay critically examines contemporary discussions of pragmatism in history. First of all, as for the ‘practice before knowledge’ argument, I point out that historical inquiry cannot be properly explained by the argument whose validity is grounded in the instinct nature of practice because historical research is a contingent, intellectual behavior. About the ‘self-correcting’ argument, I maintain that historical inquiry cannot be rendered self-correcting by the pragmatic test of truth that is, in nature, future-oriented and consequentialist given that the main goal of history is to produce, not predictions or plans of action, but retrospective beliefs, which makes the mechanism of verification through action inapplicable to history. My view on the ‘disciplinary consensus’ argument is that showing how historical beliefs are produced and confirmed within the discipline does not necessarily amount to an explanation of why we should go through the whole process.

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Jun 1, 2018

References