Proof and Persuasion
Essays on Authority, Objectivity and Evidence.
, E. Lunbeck (eds.)
268 p., + 10 ills., 156 x 234 mm, 1997
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This volume addresses issues - the nature of truth, the conditions of
objectivity, the sources of authority and the uses of evidence - which
have been the focus of vigorous debate both within and beyond the historical
profession in recent years. Avoiding the now well-rehearsed arguments over
post-modernism, as well as those that pit social constructionists against
foundationalists, these essays collectively offer what we believe is a fresh
perspective on this debate.
Drawn from a wide range of fields (including classical studies, the history ofscience, the histories of law and religion and the history of scholarly
disciplines), the authors examine, through a series of test cases, the nature
of proof and the techniques of persuasion in a variety of historical
contexts. What makes a proof persuasive? How is assent to a particular
position gained and maintained? What are the general conditions of belief,
and how are they related to particular points of view? What role does
evidence play in arguments and how does the rules change over space and
time? Where do rhetoric and science converge, and what role does ethics play
play in the deployment of either mode? What is the relationship between
'proof' and other sources of legitimacy and/or authority? The book addresses
these and related questions.
This publication is also distributed by: Marston