Internal History versus External History

Philosophy 92 (2):207-230 (2017)
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The aim of this paper is to generalize a pair of concepts that are widely used in the history of science, in art history and in historical linguistics – the concept of internal and external history – and to replace the often very vague talk of ‘historical narratives’ with this conceptual framework of internal versus external history. I argue that this way of framing the problem allows us to see the possible alternatives more clearly – as a limited number of possible relations between internal and external history. Finally, I argue that while external history is metaphysically prior to internal history, when it comes to historical explanations, we need both.

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Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp

Citations of this work

How to Characterise Pure and Applied Science.Aboutorab Yaghmaie - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):133-149.
Book Forum.Benjamin Goldberg - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

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References found in this work

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
Objective Knowledge.K. R. Popper - 1972 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 4 (2):388-398.
Mental Events.Donald Davidson - 1970 - In L. Foster & J. W. Swanson (eds.), Experience and Theory. Humanities Press.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.David L. Hull - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):435-438.

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