Repina, Lorina Petrovna. «A sign accessible to our senses», or Historians in Search of Epistemological Arguments

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For citation: Repina, Lorina Petrovna. «A sign accessible to our senses», or Historians in Search of Epistemological Arguments, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2019. № 2. Pp. 3-14. DOI

Title of the article

«A sign accessible to our senses», or Historians in Search of Epistemological Arguments

Authors Repina, Lorina Petrovna — Doctor in History, Chief Research Fellow, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia, OrcID 0000-0002-8008-9388, ResearcherID A-8518-2018, SPIN-code 6630-2840, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
In the section  Commentarii / Articles
Year 2019 Issue  2 Pages  3-14
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 930; BBK 63+60.03
Index DOI  



In the 1990s it was taken for granted to consider the so-called linguistic turn, the battles of «postmodernists» and «realists» around nature, status and the basic concepts of historiography as the Present. Today, this stormy polemic, which has found expression in a variety of discursive forms, would be interesting to consider as the Past from the point of view of the History of historical science, or rather, the history of discussions around its basic problems. And in such a historical perspective there are significant advantages. The strategy for the historical discussion of the subject field was fully implemented in the well-known works of O. G. Oexle. Based on what has already been achieved in this direction, the author of the article draws attention to another possibility of analyzing the same polemic material — through the prism of the interactive process of constructing new versions, which in modern historiography have received the meaningless name of «moderate» or «compromise». The article assesses the work done by leading historians of this direction in rethinking the key problems of historical knowledge, including the question of the conditions and boundaries of historical knowledge in relation to the question of the conditions and limits of scientific knowledge in general. The author considers the most significant in discussions of objectivity and historical truth not a traditional appeal to how historians think, but a more pragmatic approach aimed at what historians do, not only receiving positive results, but also making and overcoming mistakes. The role of methodological rules and norms of professional activity of the historian is emphasized. Having considered a number of detailed constructive proposals, sustained in the spirit of neoclassical or post-non-classical rationality, the author comes to the conclusion that they are promising from the point of view of advancing the theory and method of «historical science of culture».


historical epistemology, history of historiography, relativism, professional norms, historical science of culture

Full text version of the article. Article language  Russian
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Tags: Commentarii / Articles, Contemporary historian in search of a methodology, historical epistemology, history of historiography, relativism, professional norms, historical science of culture