Narration and Knowledge

Narration and Knowledge

3.84 (32 ratings by Goodreads)
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Now in its third edition, Narration and Knowledge is a classic work exploring the nature of historical knowledge and its reliance on narrative. Analytical philosopher Arthur C. Danto introduces the concept of "narrative sentences," in which an event is described with reference to later events (for example, "the Thirty Years' War began in 1618") and discusses why such sentences cannot be understood until the later event happens (no one could have said in 1618 that "the Thirty Years' War began today"). Danto compares narrative and scientific explanation and explores the legitimacy of historical laws. He also argues that history is an autonomous and humanist discipline incapable of being reduced to scientific descriptions. Lydia Goehr's new introduction illustrates Danto's main arguments by questioning her very role, first, as an introducer of a book that has not yet been read by readers and, second, as an interpreter of a book written forty years ago. Frank Ankersmit's conclusion revisits the initial impact of the publication of Narration and Knowledge and considers its enduring legacy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 504 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 31.75mm | 898.11g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3rd ed.
  • 0231138229
  • 9780231138222
  • 2,256,224

Table of contents

Afterwords: An Introduction to Arthur Danto's Narration and Knowledge (including his Analytical Philosophy of History) Lydia Goehr Introduction to the Morningside Edition Preface to Analytical Philosophy of History I Substantive and Analytical Philosophy of History II A Minimal Characterization of History III Three Objections against the Possibility of Historical Knowledge IV Verification, Verifiability, and Tensed Sentences V Temporal Language and Temporal Scepticisms VI Evidence and Historical Relativism VII History and Chronicle VIII Narrative Sentence IX Future-and Past-Contingencies X Historical Explanation: The Problem of General Laws XI Historical Explanation: The Role of Narratives XII Methodological Individualism and Methodological Socialism XIII Historical Understanding: The Problem of Other Periods XIV Historical Language and Historical Reality XV Narration and Knowledge Danto's Philosophy of History in Retrospective Frank Ankersmit Notes Index
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Review quote

One of the few comprehensive attempts to approach basic problems in the philosophy of history from the viewpoint of analytical philosophy. American Historical Review A substantial work which covers a wide range of philosophical problems about history, and indeed extends to a consideration of some logical features of our whole language of time. Philosophers will admire it for its lucidity and sophistication as well for the author's care and fertility of argument. English Historical Review
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About Arthur C. Danto

Arthur C. Danto is Johnsonian Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University. His books include The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art, Nietzsche as Philosopher (both published by Columbia University Press), and Art in the Historical Present, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
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Rating details

32 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 28% (9)
4 44% (14)
3 19% (6)
2 3% (1)
1 6% (2)
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