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Extra resources for Narrative Logic: A Semantic Analysis of the Historian's Language (Martinus Nijhoff Philosophy Library)

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But it is possible to restrict historiography exclusively to its factual component; consequently narratios can be written that are equally acceptable to the adherents of different ethical positions. So we can conceive of a number of value-free narratios and decide, next, which of them is the best guide for action. However, even if the possibility of such value-free narratios is taken for granted — which is, I believe, a very generous concession — it is unlikely that ethical and political values can be left out of consideration when we have to decide which narratio provides us with the best guide for action.

To that end, Gardiner introduced his so-called “porous generalizations” that permit “a broad margin of exceptional cases”17, Rescher and Joynt invented the “limited generalizations” that are “rooted in transitory regularities, deriving from the existence of temporally restricted technological and institutional patterns”18, and much energy has been devoted to a variety of 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. The identity through change of cars and tables is most often defended by the invocation of spatio-temporal continuity.

21. It has been argued by Russell and many others that propositions containing relational predicates do not have the subject-predicate form. See Russell; p. 13. e. g. "men wore wigs in Europe in the 18th century") should be dissolved into singular, constative statements and not be seen as universal statements. 31 CHAPTER II THE IDEAL NARRATIO Our inquiry into the nature of the narratio would be facilitated if we could establish what a narratio in its ideal form looks like. If it is possible to cleanse existing narratios of all their accidental contingencies and epiphenomena, the result of such a purification will be - we would hope - the narratio in its pure or “ideal” form.

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