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Title: Between Positivism, Narrativism and Idealisation in Polish Methodology of History
Authors: Brzechczyn, Krzysztof
Keywords: positivism
methodology of history
Poznań School of Methodology
Jerzy Topolski
Carl G. Hempel
explanation in history
Hayden White
Frank Ankersmit
post-positivistic approach to science
accuracy of explanation
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Cultural and Intellectual History Society
Citation: Historein. A Review of the Past and Other Stories, vol. 14, no. 1, 2014, pp. 75-87.
Abstract: This paper has two main purposes. Its primary purpose is to present the reception of the discussion between positivism and narrativism in Polish methodology of history. A secondary one is to paraphrase, using the notion apparatus of the idealisational theory of science, the issue of the accuracy of explanation. The paper consists of six parts. In the first, Hempel’s deductive-nomological (or covering law) model of explanation is presented. In the second part, the main tenets and assumptions of the Poznań school of methodology are described. The emergence of this school at the end of the 1960s was one of the most important intellectual phenomena in the cultural history of postwar Poland. However,the influence of the Poznań school postponed the popularisation of narrativism in the Polish methodology of history. The third part analyses the manifold reasons for this delayed reception. The popularisation of narrativism was only possible in Poland after 1989 but it had primarily an imitative character. This outline of the cultural and scientific context allows Chris Lorenz’s proposals (on the problem of the accuracy of explanation) to be put in a wider perspective (part four). Namely, this author describes “a theoretical historical debate” on the status of scientific laws and talks about a post-positivistic approach to science represented by Nancy Cartwright. This approach was to introduce new perspectives to the understanding of lawfulness. In the fifth part of the article, the main assumptions and tenets (for example, the modes of explanation) of another post-positivistic approach to science, namely the idealisational theory of science, are presented and compared with the Hempelian model of explanation. In the final part, Hempel’s explanatory sketch is paraphrased using the notion apparatus of the idealisational model of science which provides a solution to the problem of the accuracy of explanation
Sponsorship: The online edition of the journal is financed by the program "Digital Convergence" of the National Strategic Reference Framework Programme for Development 2007-2013, co-funded by the European Union - European Regional Development Fund and the Greek State.
ISSN: 1108-3441
Appears in Collections:Artykuły naukowe (WNS)

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