Using Goodman to Explore Historical Representation

Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (3):371-395 (2013)
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Several authors argue that historical works should be viewed as relatively complex and autonomous constructions that are of interest in their own right. In the paper I follow this general approach to history and provide an analysis of historical representation inspired mainly by Nelson Goodman’s observations about symbols. In Languages of Art, Goodman makes a number of interesting claims regarding pictorial representation, exemplification and expression, which could be employed to clarify certain semantic questions of history. He convincingly shows that there are two important questions about any representation: What is the representation about and what kind of representation is it? In the paper I make use of this two-questions point in order to explore the semantics of historical representation. In particular, this point helps to emphasize that historical works are not simple reports about past events but rather symbols revealing what kinds of representations they are, i.e. what they exemplify or express



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References found in this work

The Pasts.Paul A. Roth - 2012 - History and Theory 51 (3):313-339.
The Way the World Is.Nelson Goodman - 1960 - Review of Metaphysics 14 (1):48 - 56.
The Autonomy of Historical Understanding.Louis O. Mink - 1966 - History and Theory 5 (1):24-47.
On Some Differences about Meaning.Nelson Goodman - 1952 - Analysis 13 (4):90 - 96.
Ways of pastmaking.Paul A. Roth - 2002 - History of the Human Sciences 15 (4):125-143.

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