Conditions of Truth of Historical Narratives

The classical conception of truth requires modification in order to apply to historical narratives. Historians do not simply discover the past but constitute certain facts about it. The logic of historical narratives is distinctive in three ways. First, the truth of component statements does not guarantee the truth of the whole. Second, narrative may be true as a whole even though some of its statements are false. Finally, a greater proportion of true statements in one narrative does not necessarily make it truer than another. The ,'vertical" structure of the historical narrative consists of the articulated surface stratum, the implicit surface stratum, and the deep (latent or theoretical) stratum. The truth of a narrative is primarily determined by the third of these.