Analytical methods for document dating
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In the philosophy of history, the question of the nature, and the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised within the sub-field of epistemology.
The study of historical method and of different ways of writing history is known as historiography.
Analogy, therefore, is uncontroversial only when used to suggest hypotheses, not as a conclusive argument.
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The following core principles of source criticism were formulated by two Scandinavian historians, Olden-Jørgensen (1998) and Thurén (1997): Louis Gottschalk adds an additional consideration: "Even when the fact in question may not be well-known, certain kinds of statements are both incidental and probable to such a degree that error or falsehood seems unlikely.
If an ancient inscription on a road tells us that a certain proconsul built that road while Augustus was princeps, it may be doubted without further corroboration that that proconsul really built the road, but would be harder to doubt that the road was built during the principate of Augustus.
It is a statistical syllogism when it is "established by a sufficient number and variety of instances of the generalization"; otherwise, the argument may be invalid because properties 1 through n are unrelated to property n 1, unless property n 1 is the best explanation of properties 1 through n.
Satisfactory answers to the second and third questions may provide the historian with the whole or the gist of the primary testimony upon which the secondary witness may be his only means of knowledge.