Stephen Boulter
Oxford Brookes University
_ Source: _Page Count 25 The familiar challenges to historiographical knowledge turn on epistemological concerns having to do with the unobservability of historical events, or with the problem of establishing a sufficiently strong inferential connection between evidence and the historiographical claim one wishes to convert from a true belief into knowledge. This paper argues that these challenges miss a deeper problem, viz., the lack of obvious truth-makers for historiographical claims. The metaphysical challenge to historiography is that reality does not appear to co-operate in our cognitive endeavours by providing truth-makers for claims about historical entities and events. Setting out this less familiar, but more fundamental, challenge to the very possibility of historiography is the first aim of this paper. The various ways in which this challenge might be met are then set out, including ontologically inflationary appeals to abstract objects of various kinds, or to “block” theories of time. The paper closes with the articulation of an ontologically parsimonious solution to the metaphysical challenge to historiography. The cost of this approach is a revision to standard theories of truth. The central claim here is that the standard theories of truth have mistaken distinct causes of truth for truth itself. This mistake leads to distorted expectations regarding truth-makers for historiographical claims. The truth-makers of historiographical claims are not so much the historical events themselves but atemporal modal facts about the order of things of which those events were a part.
Keywords truth-makers   historiography   abstract objects   time   truth   knowledge   real relations
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/18722636-12341329
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,316
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
The Foundations of Arithmetic.Gottlob Frege - 1884/1950 - Evanston: Ill., Northwestern University Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
The Basic Works of Aristotle. Aristotle - 1941 - New York, NY, USA: Random House.
Truth.Michael Dummett - 1959 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59 (1):141-62.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Truth and Collective Truth.Gilbert Plumer - 1996 - Dialectica 50 (1):3-24.
Tarski's Definition and Truth-Makers.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2004 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 126 (1-3):57-76.
An Ontological Argument for Modal Realism.Michael Losonsky - 1988 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 31 (1):165-177.
Nefarious Presentism.Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):355-371.
Does Knowledge Depend on Truth?Nick Zangwill - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):139-144.
The Alleged Supervenience of Everything on Microphysics.Crawford L. Elder - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):87-95.
How Truth Depends Upon Being.Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):370-378.
Truth Makers, Truth Predicates, and Truth Types.Herbert Hochberg - 1992 - In Kevin Mulligan (ed.), Language, Truth and Ontology. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 87-117.
Herbert Hochberg.Truth Makers, Truth Predicates & Truth Types - 1992 - In Kevin Mulligan (ed.), Language, Truth and Ontology. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 87--117.


Added to PP index

Total views
32 ( #358,851 of 2,519,512 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #407,153 of 2,519,512 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes