The weight of pseudo-objectivity

J. Vogt


For nearly twenty years, numerous methodological problems of historical seismology, sometimes set in a wider frame, have been discussed by a continuous sequence of papers. One or another paper emphasized the role of pscudo-objectivity without, however, pronouncing these ominous words. Ultimately the need was I'clt to deal with the weight of pseudo-objectivity jn a sll.aightforward way, although scientists, as one enlightened reviewer of this paper wrote, often do not dare to rajse problems of a more or less psychological and episte- mological kind. Besides generaI statements, a random set of surprising examples is given, from the author's own experience or tì.om his readings. The major problem of computerized catalogues is emphasized. Even modern macroseismic enquiries, sometimes considered a routine work, don't escape the pitfalls of pseudo-ob-jectivity. While subjectivity is despised, with sometimes extreme statements, condemning historical seismology on the whole, a kind of "constructive subjectivity" with an ability to master complex problems, seem, preferable to the dangers of a growing pseudo-objectivity.


Historical seismology;pseudo-objectivity

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X