Épistémologie, histoire et historiens : considérations conceptuelles, méthodologiques et empiriques autour du discours que les historiens tiennent sur leur savoir

Authors: Noël, Patrick Michel
Advisor: Pâquet, Martin
Abstract: In conjunction with the recent – and not so recent – reflections on the relation between epistemology – understood here in its restricted meaning of philosophy of sciences – and history that focus on the history of epistemology, the epistemology of history, and the place of history in epistemology or historical epistemology, this thesis proposes to examine the place of epistemology in history or historian epistemology, namely the discourse (logos) that historians hold on their knowledge (episteme). Both ignored by proponents of historical epistemology and by philosophers interested in the epistemology of history, historian epistemology is the blind spot of the reflection on the relation between epistemology and history. Two interrelated objectives structure this thesis: enrich the dialectical understanding between epistemology and history – the general objective – by highlighting the discursive relation that historians have with their knowledge, historian epistemology – the particular objective. We do not attempt ourselves to elucidate the nature of history as disciplinary knowledge, but to examine, under the rubric of a meta-epistemology of history, the elucidation of it made alternately by philosophers, but also and mainly by historians through the discourse they hold on their knowledge – their epistemology. Our argument is divided into three parts in order to better define the general and particular objectives above-mentioned. They offer conceptual, methodological and empirical sketches through which, on the one hand, we examine the dialectic between epistemology and history and what we see as its blind spot, the historian epistemology (I) and, on the other hand, we define a methodology (II) to identify, through a documented study anchored in the Quebec disciplinary field of history, the reflexive resources of historians (III). The study of these resources calls into question the traditional caricatured representation of the historian as a hopeless empiricist and, therefore, the highly prevalent conviction that the historian is formed and asserts himself only by the execution of his know-how. We conclude this thesis by highlighting the importance of historian epistemology in disciplinary socialization and the key place its study should have in the historian training that should not be reduced to a learning-on-the-job process.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2014
Open Access Date: 20 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/25426
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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