Historical Methodology and Critical Thinking as Synergised Concepts

David Černín
University of Ostrava, Czech Republic | cernin.d@gmail.com

Received: 29-May-2019 | Accepted: 8-August-2019 | Published Online: 24-November-2019
Disputatio [Dec. 2019], Vol. 9, No. 13, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3567217
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [sp] | Vol. 9 No. 13

How to cite this article:
Černín, David (2020). «Historical Methodology and Critical Thinking as Synergised Concepts». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 9, no. 13: pp. 00–00.


Abstract | The post-truth era is plagued by numerous pseudoscientific theories and narratives that took root in various disciplines. History and historical knowledge belong to the enterprises abused today. The output of historical inquiry in a narrative form is often considered as a correct description of the real past from which we may draw normative conclusions about society. However, the endemic plurality of historical narratives and theories presents an opportunity for intentional misinterpretation. This paper aims to sketch a solution to this threatening situation with the help of contemporary philosophy of historiography. It is argued that it is necessary to move from historical narratives to the process of historical inquiry itself. The historiography developed over its existence many useful tools on how to guard itself against various logical fallacies, cognitive biases, and pseudoscientific methodology. The situation of a historian encountering contradictory sources about the same subject is strikingly similar to the situation of an inquisitive person confronted by pseudoscientific articles and fake news. The paper highlights a strong synergy between fully developed methods of scientific historiography and critical thinking that is considered as a possible cure to our current predicament. We should teach history as critical thinking, not as stories.
Keywords |
Evidence · Critical Thinking · Philosophy of Historiography · Narratives.

Metodología histórica y pensamiento crítico como conceptos sinérgicos

Resumen | La era de la posverdad está plagada de numerosas teorías y narrativas pseudocientíficas arraigadas en varias disciplinas. La historia y el conocimiento histórico pertenecen a esta clase de disciplinas abusadas. El resultado de la investigación histórica en forma narrativa a menudo se considera como una descripción correcta del pasado real desde la cual podemos extraer conclusiones normativas sobre la sociedad contemporánea. Sin embargo, la pluralidad endémica de narrativas y teorías históricas presenta una oportunidad para la tergiversación intencionada. Este artículo tiene como objetivo esbozar una solución a esta amenazante situación con la ayuda de la filosofía contemporánea de la historiografía. Se argumenta que es necesario pasar de las narrativas al proceso de investigación histórica en sí. La historiografía ha desarrollado durante su existencia numerosas herramientas útiles a fin de protegerse contra varias falacias, sesgos cognitivos y metodologías pseudocientíficas. La situación de un historiador que se encuentra con fuentes contradictorias sobre la misma cuestión es sorprendentemente similar a la situación de una persona inquisitiva ante artículos pseudocientíficos y noticias falsas. El artículo destaca una fuerte sinergia entre los métodos desarrollados de historiografía científica y el pensamiento crítico, considerada como una posible solución para la situación actual. Deberíamos enseñar la historia como pensamiento crítico, no como historias.
Palabras Clave | Evidencia · Pensamiento crítico · Filosofía fe la historiografía · Narrativas.


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