Out of Historical Epistemology: The Limitation and Way Out of the Discourse Paradigm of Historiographical Theory in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up
Social Sciences in China Review
Out of Historical Epistemology: The Limitation and Way Out of the Discourse Paradigm of Historiographical Theory in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up (Abstract)
The main paradigm of historical theory in the 40 years of reform and opening up is “historical epistemology.” It is impossible to defend not only the legitimacy of historical knowledge but also the root of the division of positivist historiography, historiographical theory, and historical theory. Historical epistemology with historical realism as its philosophical premise is fundamentally a theory mirroring modern Western philosophy. It is the pusher behind historical relativism, rather than the only way to save objective historiography. Under the paradigm of “historical epistemology,” historiographical theory only repeats the question of whether “historical cognition is subjective or objective” and misinterprets new theories such as hermeneutics and postmodernism as “evidence” to the subjectivity of historical cognition. In fact, the development of modern science has already destroyed the modern scientific vision of “objective unrestrained truth,” influencing philosophy to take the lead by going “out of epistemology” and transforming into modern philosophy. Going, as it is called, “out of historical epistemology” does not deny the reality of objective history (and the objective world), nor does it deny the phenomenon of cognition. It suspends the ineffective metaphysical belief of “objective historical reality,” getting rid of the “natural attitude” and transcending the old framework of subject-object dualism, thus transforming the “objectivity of correspondence theory” in historical knowledge into “objectivity of coherence theory.” This is not only the inherent requirement of building a historiographical discourse with Chinese characteristics, but also the key to truly grasping the essence of Marxist social historical thought.