ON THE NATURE OF THE GODS, or “Epistemological Polytheism” as History Comprehension Method

Abstract. This article is devoted to the issue of history comprehension of the ancient societies in the context of their religious identity. Religion is one of the fundamental elements of civilization idea (“ontological project”); it constructs “universe” that is distinguished by the “laws of nature”, specific only for it. To make “communication” with ancient people maximally authentic, the researcher should not only recognize their right to look at the “world” in its own way, but also accept its “laws”, that means – religion as well. Since the latter is almost impossible, the scientist is deprived of the possibility to comprehend another cultural and historical reality as vivid establishment of human spirit; he/she will see only scheme or fable in it. The proposed in this paper method of “epistemological polytheism”, based on thought experiment, gives the possibility to bypass difficulties of perception and to approximate the understanding of meanings that define the ancient people worldview.
Keywords: historical method, epistemological polytheism, history, understanding, culture, civilization, philosophy of history.

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