K.V.KHVOSTOVA, V.K.FINN. The Problems of Historical Cognition in the Light of Modern Interdisciplinary Studies. Moscow, the Russian State Humanitarian University, 1997, 256 pp.
The book written by K.Khvostova, D.Sc. (History), a leading research associate of the Institute of General History, RAS, and V.Finn, D.Sc. (Technology), senior research associate of All-Russia Institute of Scientific and Technical Information, differs by its fundamental character and solid interdisciplinary approach.
Speaking about the "general specific features of modern historical cognition and the epistemology of history", the authors raise an issue of absence of the axiomatic theory in history. "The recognition that historical conclusions are true or false depends primarily on the acceptance by the scientific community of the plurality of assertions which are used in the particular research as postulates of reasoning". Is there any truth in the verity which depends on a opinion, even that of the scientific community? What determines the acceptance of certain assertions? What is then the sense of historical research if the scientist is right only in that case when he proceeds from the postulates which are generally accepted in his environment? These are not the questions for discussion, they make the basis for formulating one's credo as a scientist-historian. The availability of an exposed credo (even for oneself) is a step forward on the way to a methodologically competent study.
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