Historical fact, realism and constructivism
The aim of the paper is to discuss the definition of the fact presented by Vaclav Cernik. At first, the author outlines the views of the defenders of the naive realism, constructivism (or narrativism), and critical realism in historiography. The leading proponents of narrativism hold that what the historians construe are not single facts, but general narrative interpretations. The second part offers a critical analysis of some notions and distinctions introduced by Cernik in his theory of the social fact. The most questionable is his concept of observation statements and his way of differentiation between observational and theoretical statements. The author's conclusion is that the most reliable is the middle ground between naive realism and constructivism in their radical forms.
Eugen Zelenak, Katedra filozofie Filozofickej fakulty Kezmarskej univerzity, Hrabovska cesta l, 034 01 Kezmarok, Slovak Republic; www.klemens.sav.sk/fiusav/filozofia
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