At the Crossroads of Historiography and Metaphysics of History

Idealistic Studies 35 (1):35-47 (2005)
Abstract
Gadamer profoundly appreciates Collingwood’s Logic of Question and Answer (LQA). But while he grants its innovative serviceability, he contends that it has not been fully developed, and that its function in historical re-enactment is an exercise in historicism. Attempts have been made to defend Collingwood from Gadamer’s charge of historicism. But they have not documented the source ofGadamer’s alleged misunderstanding of Collingwood. This article will do the task. I will argue that Gadamer came up with a wrong conclusion about Collingwood’s doctrine of re-enactment because he overlooked the context of a passage in The Idea of History where he examined Collingwood’s discussion of Plato’s argument in Theaetetus. I will argue that Gadamer’s lack of perspective of the overall context of Collingwood’s discussion caused him to focus on a wrong aspect of the argument. This is quite unfortunate. Because of this, Gadamer is unable to appreciate more Collingwood’s LQA and its special role in hermeneutics
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