The Limits of Historical Knowledge
Cod: 31103
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: History
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

This course unit is centred in the epistemological origins of historical knowledge. Throughout the teaching/learning process, there will be a thorough analysis of the grounds that led to the construction of this knowledge, taking in to account the following topics:
• the hypotheses to understand the object of study in History, given the limits imposed by the sources, to the interference of the researcher and to the methods adopted to conduct his/her research scientifically;
• the role of History within the areas of knowledge and sciences.

The students will be introduced to the techniques and alerted to the ethics of the elaboration of academic works

  1. Historical knowledge
  2. History methodology
  3. History epistemology
  4. Historians

• Mastering the epistemological problems of historical knowledge;
• Recognising the methodological foundations used in the construction of historical knowledge;
• Questioning the definition of History as knowledge.

I. The Historians, the past and present times;
II. The construction of historical knowledge
     1. From the formulation of problems to the selection of documents;
     2. The concept of source, maintenance and preservation conditions;
     3. The methods: critical analysis of sources and information management.
III. The definition of historical knowledge
     1. A science? A scientifically conducted speech? An Art?
IIV. The scientific research: ethics and standards.

Bibliografia básica:
AZEVEDO, Carlos A. Moreira, AZEVEDO, Ana Gonçalves - Metodologia Científica. Contributos práticos para a elaboração de trabalhos académicos. Lisboa: Ed. Universidade Católica, 1996.
BLOCH, Marc - Introdução à história. Col. "Forum da História". Mira-Sintra/Mem Martins: Publicações Europa América, 1997 [Edição revista, aumentada e criticada por Etienne Bloch, com prefácio de Jacques le Goff].
CATROGA, Fernando - Memória, História e Historiografia. Coimbra: Quarteto, 2002.
CORRAL, José Luis; GARCÍA HERRERO, Carmen; NAVARRO, Germán - Taller de Historia: el oficio que amamos. Barcelona:  Edhasa, 2006.
DUBY, Georges - A História continua, Porto: Edições ASA, 1992.
ENCARNAÇÃO, José d’ (coord.) – As oficinas da História. Coimbra: Fac. Letras/Edições Colibri, 2002.
MATTOSO, José - A escrita da história. Teoria e métodos, Lisboa: Ed. Estampa, 1988.
MORADIELLOS, Enrique - El oficio de historiador. Madrid: Siglo XXI Editores, 1994.

N.B. As obras/parte de obras indicadas são disponibilizadas online.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).