Evidence, Argument, and Story

Thursday Lecture Series, Evidence

April 7, 2011 Thursday, 12:15pm EDT The Heyman Center, Columbia University

How should we establish and interpret a piece of historical evidence? How can an argument be made based on the evidence we have? What are the problems we face in constructing an evidence- based story, and what are the “solutions” we have to these problems? Dingxin Zhao, who has been doing research on both modern and historical China for twenty years, has contemplated various methodological issues related to these questions. His talk, based largely on his recent research on the patterns of Chinese history, considered the problems in the collection and interpretation of historical evidence and in the construction of plausible arguments and stories.