Anna TopolskaEwa DomańskaJerzy Topolskimetodologia historiinarracja historycznaprawdaświadomość metodologiczna historykówteoria historii
Jerzy Topolski, Theory and Methodology of Historical Knowledge, edited by Ewa Domańska and Anna Topolska. Poznań: Faculty of History Press, Adam Mickiewicz University, 2022.
Jerzy Topolski was one of the most renowned Polish historians and theorists of history in the world. From 1959, he was associated with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Together with Jerzy Kmita and Leszek Nowak, he was a co-founder of the Poznań School of Methodology, which combined nonorthodox interpretations of Marxism with elements of the analytical philosophy developed in the Warsaw-Lwów School and Karl Popper’s philosophy of science. Topolski laid the foundations for a modern methodology of history as a separate research field. Its program was inspired by historical materialism as well as by new trends in the humanities and social sciences, in particular the analytical philosophy of history and narrativism.
This publication is the first English-language anthology of Jerzy Topolski’s texts. It was prepared especially for the 23rd International Congress of Historical Sciences. The volume contributes to ongoing discussions regarding the status of historical knowledge, history’s social engagement, the integration of the humanities and natural sciences, the relationships between events, facts and historical sources, questions relating to narration and historical truth, and the revival of interest in the analytical philosophy of history. As such, the anthology engages with debates on the geography of knowledge and it demonstrates how knowledge created outside Western Europe and the United States can inform the condition and development of historical theory.
This anthology outlines Topolski’s main areas of interest relating to theoretical and methodological aspects of historical knowledge. These ideas and theories include: understanding history as a social science; the notion of theoretical history; discussions of historians’ methodological consciousness; the theory of historical facts; declarative sentences as “a realistic alibi for historians;” the theory of non-source-based knowledge; issues of evaluation and assessment in the work of historians; the theory of historical narrative; historical explanation; and the paradox of historical truth.
Zenonas Norkus, Jerzy Topolski’s Restoration (ad Integrum) of Historics/Historyka. Journal of the Philosophy of History, vol. 16, nr 3, 2022: 309–320, DOI: 10.1163/18722636-12341483