Kais Madhi Firro's Historical Knowledge in the West: Philosophical, Literary and Scientific Approaches (319 pp.) has been published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in June, 2013. This book addresses the concept of history, suggesting that there are two meanings of the word. The first definition is that history encompasses all of the past, including both recorded and unrecorded events. The second definition confines history to the chronicle of past events, as well as the search for truth through studying the details of such chronicles and the determination of the causes behind events.
The book is devoted to the idea of historical epistemology, posing the questions: Do absolute historical facts exist? How can we be sure that what we know of the past is real? Is historical knowledge objective?
Professor Firro attempts to answer these and other questions. He specifically regards those discussions which seek to establish a causal trajectory for the path of history, and those which lead historians to accept one historical argument over another. He also considers positions which cast doubt on all of the facts, explanations and causality which form part of the discipline of history.
Professor Firro's book provides a novel, much-needed addition to the academic study of history, particularly in its contribution to methodology and theory.