Tackling the question of complexity and truth is not limited to scholars of the social sciences. Ever since the Enlightenment, the quest for truth has been said to be the ultimate duty of historians. Source criticism and hermeneutics are intended to reveal historical facts in light of the infinite dimension of (societal) reality. Nonetheless, historical research is dominated by conflicting narratives. Hence, there is no one truth either at present or in distant memory. For quite some time, scholars from many historical subdisciplines have been striving to combine social-scientific principles and methods with historical research. That is why we aim to initiate an interdisciplinary discussion of how truth is produced in and accepted by different parts of society, different regions of the world, and different historical time periods, which includes functional systems, organizations, and interactions. Thus, we bring together an international group of scholars from the fields of Sociology, Intellectual History, Economic History, and Philosophy, who present their individual views of the concept of complexity and truth.
This special issue address the social construction of truth building on the relevant intersections between the different disciplines.