||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.
||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.
|| 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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History/traditions: Philosophy of History
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- 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.
- A. M. Adam (1995). "The Idea of History", by R. G. Collingwood, Edited and with a New Introduction by J. Van der Dussen. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):256.
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- Ben Adams (2012). History. Philosophy Now 88:34-35.
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- Walter L. Adamson (1981). Marx's Four Histories: An Approach to His Intellectual Development. History and Theory 20 (4):379.
- Josè Pérez Adan (1989). Notas para la confección de una historia olvidada: los presupuestos ideológicos del anarquismo anglosajón. Revista Venezolana de Filosofía 25:73-92.
- Robert Adcock (2007). Who's Afraid of Determinism? The Ambivalence of Macro-Historical Inquiry. Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (3):346-364.
- Laird Addis (1966). Freedom and the Marxist Philosophy of History. Philosophy of Science 33 (1/2):101-.
- Howard Adelman (1974). Rational Explanation Reconsidered: Case Studies and the Hempel-Dray Model. History and Theory 13 (3):208-224.
- Roger Adelson (1997). Speaking of History Conversations with Historians. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
- 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.
- Thomas Africa (1973). Review. [REVIEW] History and Theory 12:351-357.
- Thomas W. Africa (1973). Michael Grant, "the Ancient Historians". [REVIEW] History and Theory 12 (3):351.
- Joseph Agassi (2007). Rationalizing the Historiography of Science. Nuova Civiltà Delle Macchine 25 (2).
- Joseph Agassi (1963). The Inductivist Techniques. History and Theory 2:14-20.
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