Reconstrução histórica: ganhando acesso epistêmico do passado bem distante

sábado, junho 14, 2014

Historical Reconstruction: Gaining Epistemic Access to the Deep Past 

Patrick Forber, Department of Philosophy, Tufts University, Miner Hall, 14 Upper Campus Road, Medford, MA 02155

Eric Griffith, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115


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Consilience, Epistemology, Evidence, Evolutionary biology, Geology, Mass extinction

Article Type: Article

Volume 3, August 2011


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Received 22 June 2010; Revised 23 November 2010; Accepted 5 May 2011


We discuss the scientific task of historical reconstruction and the problem of epistemic access. We argue that strong epistemic support for historical claims consists in the consilience of multiple independent lines of evidence, and analyze the impact hypothesis for the End-Cretaceous mass extinction to illustrate the accrual of epistemic support. Although there are elements of the impact hypothesis that enjoy strong epistemic support, the general conditions for this are strict, and help to clarify the difficulties associated with reconstructing the deep past.