A recent trend in contemporary written history is towards what I term “narrative” history, where the significant events of the past are framed within traditional dramatic structure and told through the personal vignettes of the common people who experienced them. This makes for immersive reading, but the complication in this approach is that history, at least in part, purports to be a true telling of the past. Therein lies the problem. I shall argue that narrative history’s pervasive use of literary technique and witness testimony in order to make truth claims about the past is epistemically unjustified. That does not mean that I believe narrative history is pointless, only that its continued relevance in modern culture is dependent on it having a practical use, not an epistemic one. I believe that narrative history does have that practical application.
James Pearson (Thesis Director)
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Hollien, Michael. (2016). Epistemic Problems in Contemporary History. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 157. Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/157
Copyright © 2016 Michael Hollien