Publication 4847

Gartz J. W. (1999) Konstruktivismus und historische Rezeptionsforschung: Perspektiven eines “konstruktiven” Dialogs. [Constructivism and historical reception research: Perspectives of a “constructive” dialogue] Historical Social Research 24(2): 3–57.
The article presents the possibility of a dialogue between constructivism and the studies on historical reception. Based on the fixation on the location in historical epistemological efforts, it criticizes an unnecessarily radical constructivism with reference to evolutionary epistemology, and makes an appeal for a moderate ‘morphological constructivism’, which can be methodically applied in the form of ‘morphological imagology’. Subsequently, it illustrates a concrete example for the use of this morphological-constructivist method in the field of historical reception studies based on the Latin America reception of the German historian Georg Gottfried Gervinus. Even the argumentation of the representatives of radical constructivism is not able to negate the specific cognitive ambition of the historian to be able to make conclusive statements about the past. The historians’ obligation to the past, at least the right to veto the sources, prevails. Within this framework, however, the innovative potential of constructivist models and methods open a broad spectrum of possibilities for historical reception studies which take historical persons’ perceptions of reality seriously as a reality ‘sui generis’.
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