Historical Evidence And Argument

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University of Wisconsin Press, 2005 - History - 325 pages
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Historians know about the past because they examine the evidence. But what exactly is “evidence,” how do historians know what it means—and how can we trust them to get it right? Historian David Henige tackles such questions of historical reliability head-on in his skeptical, unsparing, and acerbically witty Historical Evidence and Argument. “Systematic doubt” is his watchword, and he practices what he preaches through a variety of insightful assessments of historical controversies—for example, over the dating of artifacts and the textual analysis of translated documents. Skepticism, Henige contends, forces us to recognize the limits of our knowledge, but is also a positive force that stimulates new scholarship to counter it.

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Contents

Traveling Hopefully
5
The Anxieties of Ambiguity
15
Unraveling Gordian Knots
29
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

David Henige is the African studies bibliographer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and editor of several national series on African history.

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