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Summary People have long sought to give meaning to historical processes. One solution has been religion; engagement with associated philosophical issues continues. Since the Enlightenment with its “scientific” understanding history has been disciplinised in various ways as unassociated with religion; philosophical reflections by historians on historiographical methods also continue. For twentieth-century analytical philosophy there were two traditions in philosophy of history: “speculative” and “analytical”. A speculative philosopher of history, for example Hegel or Marx, would seek by non-empirical methods a profound understanding of the hitherto hidden plan of actual historical change and would offer a political ideology suitable for mass motivation; such speculations continue. Analytical philosophers initially addressed problems of historical knowledge and explanation, but much has migrated to the philosophies of science and of action. With Continental, post-Wittgenstein and pragmatic approaches permitting the historicising of philosophical analysis, metaphilosophical problems of the history and philosophy of history remain; the aesthetic understanding of “narrative” and the ethics of the recovery of shared memory are central. Philosophers and historians across the world often work in ignorance of the traditions of their many opponents, but the first conference of the International Network for the Theory of History attracted in 2013 a large and varied attendance which found much to share, although philosophy of history has not yet settled into an analytically well-structured discipline.
Key works Four journals in the subject should be perused: History and Theory, Storia della Storiografia, Rethinking History and The Journal of the Philosophy of History. For a clear logical empiricist expression of causal explanation in history see Hempel 1942, with Collingwood 1993 and Dray 1979 expressing noncausal modes of understanding past actions.  Skinner 1969 applies speech act theory to the history of ideas and the interpretation of evidence.  Danto 1968 takes narrative seriously and offers a largely reductionist account, while Gorman 1974 and Ankersmit 1983 argue in different ways for the epistemological centrality of narrative understanding.  White 1973 and 1987 argues that narrative history is a literary artefact with poetic modes of structure and sets much of the modern agenda.  Tucker 2004 offers an analytical account of reasoning from historical evidence in terms of Bayesian decision theory.
Introductions Day 2008 is a study guide that assesses the arguments of major philosophers and historians who have contributed to the theory of history. It is suitable for undergraduate students in both philosophy and history, and deals with historical evidence, methodology and reasoning; the relationships between history, science and causation; narrative, empathy and rational action; truth, objectivity and scepticism. Gorman 1992 is intended for both undergraduate and postgraduate philosophy and history students. It deals with fundamental issues in the epistemology and metaphysics of history from an analytical and pragmatic viewpoint, and offers a detailed analysis comparing economic history and traditional narrative history. Tucker 2009 contains 50 papers by international experts on a wide range of issues in the theory of history. Jenkins 1995 helpfully introduces postmodern approaches.
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Siblings:History/traditions: Philosophy of History
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  1. Hans Aarsleff (2012). Pufendorf and Condillac on Law and Language. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):308-321.
    Abstract This essay argues that Pufendorf conceived the principles of natural law against the rationalism and innatism of the 17th century, and that Condillac similarly formulated a conception of the human origin of language, both of them thus securing open and human foundations for the two primal institutions of law and language, and also making all citizens free agents in the ordering of communal living.
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  2. Janet Lippman Abu-Lughod (1995). The World-System Perspective in the Construction of Economic History. History and Theory 34 (2):86-98.
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  3. David Abulafia (2011). 4. Mediterranean History as Global History. History and Theory 50 (2):220-228.
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  4. Sapir Abulafia, Howard Hotson & Richard A. Muller (2010). bOOkS IN SUmmary. History and Theory 49:447-450.
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  5. A. M. Adam (2000). Book Review: The What and the Why of History. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (1):131-140.
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  6. A. M. Adam (1999). On the Methods of History. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):315-324.
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  7. A. M. Adam (1995). Book Reviews : R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History. Rev. Ed., Edited and with a New Introduction by J. Van der Dussen, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993. Pp. Xlvii, 510. $108.00 (Cloth. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):256-258.
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  8. A. M. Adam (1994). Book Reviews : Leon Pompa, Human Nature and Historical Knowledge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Pp. 234. $44.50. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 24 (2):250-252.
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  9. Robert Adcock (2007). Who's Afraid of Determinism? The Ambivalence of Macro-Historical Inquiry. Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (3):346-364.
    This paper explores explanatory practices of macro-historical social science in light of philosophical stances on determinism versus indeterminism. Analysis of determinism and its implications show its compatibility with practices emphasizing causal complexity, contingency, and choice. It can, moreover, clarify and contain these practices in ways that extend the priority traditionally given to causal explanation by macro-historical social scientists. Analysis of indeterminism shows, by contrast, that each of its major varieties challenge macro-historical explanatory practices. To embrace indeterminism and follow through its (...)
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  10. Laird Addis (1966). Freedom and the Marxist Philosophy of History. Philosophy of Science 33 (1/2):101-.
    Many believe that the Marxist philosophy of history entails that man is not free in a sense in which it seems obvious that he is. In particular it is held to be (1) materialistic, (2) holistic, (3) economistic, and (4) fatalistic. It is claimed, in short, that since the Marxist philosophy of history has these features, man is not capable of shaping his own (social) destiny if it is true. I show for each of these features either that it does (...)
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  11. Madhumalati Adhikari (2002). History and Story: Unconventional History in Michael Ondaatje's the English Patient and James A. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. History and Theory 41 (4):43–55.
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  12. Virginia H. Aksan (2008). Theoretical Ottomans. History and Theory 47 (1):109–122.
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  13. James Alexander (2012). Three Rival Views of Tradition (Arendt, Oakeshott and MacIntyre). Journal of the Philosophy of History 6 (1):20-43.
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  14. Anna Alexandrova (2009). Brill Online Books and Journals. Journal of the Philosophy of History 3 (1).
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  15. Anna Alexandrova (2009). When Analytic Narratives Explain. Journal of the Philosophy of History 3 (1):1-24.
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  16. George Allan (1975). Croce's Theory of Historical Judgment. The Modern Schoolman 52 (2):169-187.
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  17. Barry Allen (2006). A History Without the History. History and Theory 45 (1):134–146.
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  18. Barry Allen (2003). Another New Nietzsche. History and Theory 42 (3):363–377.
  19. Barry Allen (1997). The Soul of Knowledge. History and Theory 36 (1):63-82.
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  20. J. S. Allen (2003). William M. Reddy, The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions. History and Theory 42 (1):82-93.
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  21. James Smith Allen (2003). Navigating the Social Sciences: A Theory for the Meta–History of Emotions. History and Theory 42 (1):82–93.
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  22. J. M. Alonso-Núñez (1984). D. A. Dombrowski: Plato's Philosophy of History. Pp. Viii + 217. Washington: University Press of America, 1981. Paper. The Classical Review 34 (02):334-.
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  23. Mariano Alvarez-Gómez, Paredes Martín & María del Carmen (eds.) (2009). La Filosofía de la Historia a Partir de Hegel. Universidad de Salamanca.
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  24. Jack Amariglio & Bruce Norton (forthcoming). Marxist Historians and the Question of Class in the French Revolution. History and Theory.
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  25. Jean-Loup Amselle (forthcoming). Anthropology and Historicity. History and Theory.
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  26. Robert Anchor (2000). Whose Autopoiesis? History and Theory 39 (1):107–116.
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  27. Robert Anchor (1999). The Quarrel Between Historians and Postmodernists. [REVIEW] History and Theory 38 (1):111–121.
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  28. Sharon Anderson-Gold (1982). Cultural Pluralism and Ethical Community in Kant's Philosophy of History. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 9 (1):67-78.
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  29. György Andrássy (1983). Marx's Philosophy of History and Hegel's Logic: (Parallels). Pécsi Janus Pannonius Tudományegyetem Állam- És Jogtudományui Kara.
  30. N. B. Andrënov (2005). O Mekhanizmakh Istorii. Sputnik+.
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  31. A. Ė Anisimova (2009). "Novyĭ Istorizm": Naukovedcheskiĭ Analiz: Monografii͡a.
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  32. F. Ankersmit (1988). Review Essay of J. Rü Sen's Grundzü Ge Einer Historik II. History and Theory 27:81-94.
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  33. F. R. Ankersmit (2012). Meaning, Truth, and Reference in Historical Representation. Cornell University Press.
    Historicism -- Time -- Interpretation -- Representation -- Reference -- Truth -- Meaning -- Presence -- Experience (I) -- Experience (II) -- Subjectivity -- Politics.
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  34. F. R. Ankersmit (2006). 3. "Presence" and Myth. History and Theory 45 (3):328–336.
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  35. F. R. Ankersmit (2005). Sublime Historical Experience. Stanford University Press.
    Why are we interested in history at all? Why do we feel the need to distinguish between past and present? In this book, the author argues that the past originates from an experience of rupture separating past and present. Think of the radical rupture with Europe's past that was effected by the French and the Industrial Revolutions. Sublime Historical Experience investigates how the notion of sublime historical experience complicates and challenges existing conceptions of language, (...)
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  36. F. R. Ankersmit (2004). The Ethics of History: From the Double Binds of (Moral) Meaning to Experience. History and Theory 43 (4):84–102.
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  37. F. R. Ankersmit (2004). The Ethics of History: From the Double Binds of (Moral) Meaning to Experience. History and Theory 43 (4):84-102.
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  38. F. R. Ankersmit (2003). Danto, History, and the Tragedy of Human Existence. History and Theory 42 (3):291–304.
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  39. F. R. Ankersmit (2003). An Appeal From the New to the Old Historicists. History and Theory 42 (2):253–270.
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  40. F. R. Ankersmit (2001). The Sublime Dissociation of the Past: Or How to Be(Come) What One is No Longer. History and Theory 40 (3):295–323.
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  41. F. R. Ankersmit (1998). Danto on Representation, Identity, and Indiscernibles. History and Theory 37 (4):44–70.
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  42. F. R. Ankersmit (1998). Hayden White's Appeal to the Historians. History and Theory 37 (2):182–193.
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  43. F. R. Ankersmit (1995). Historicism an Attempt at Synthesis-Reply. History and Theory 34 (3):168-173.
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  44. F. R. Ankersmit (1990). Historiography and Postmodernism-Reply. History and Theory 29 (3):275-296.
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  45. F. R. Ankersmit & Hans Kellner (eds.) (1995). A New Philosophy of History. University of Chicago Press.
    What is history? From Thucydides to Toynbee historians and nonhistorians alike have wondered how to answer this question. A New Philosophy of History reflects on developments over the last two decades in historical writing, not least the renewed interest in the status of narrative itself and the presence of the authorial "voice." Subjects include the problems of Grand Narrative, multiple voices and the personal presence of the historian in his text, the ambitions of the French Annales school and the so-called (...)
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  46. Frank Ankersmit (2013). History as the Science of the Individual. Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (3):396-425.
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  47. Frank Ankersmit (2013). Representation as a Cognitive Instrument. History and Theory 52 (2):171-193.
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  48. Frank Ankersmit (2013). Introduction: History and Truth. Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (3):257-265.
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  49. Frank Ankersmit (2012). Foreword: Imagination and Fact : A Lover's Quarrel. In Ranjan Ghosh (ed.), Lover's Quarrel with the Past: Romance, Representation, Reading. Berghahn Books.
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  50. Frank Ankersmit (2012). The Dialectics of Jameson's Dialectics. History and Theory 51 (1):84-106.
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