The psychological basis of historical explanation: Reenactment, simulation, and the fusion of horizons
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History and Theory 41 (1):25–42 (2002)
In this article I will challenge a received orthodoxy in the philosophy of social science by showing that Collingwood was right in insisting that reenactment is epistemically central for historical explanations of individual agency. Situating Collingwood within the context of the debate between simulation theory and what has come to be called “theory theory” in contemporary philosophy of mind and psychology, I will develop two systematic arguments that attempt to show the essential importance of reenactment for our understanding of rational agency. I will furthermore show that Gadamer’s influential critique of the reenactment model distinguishes insufficiently between the interpretation of certain types of texts and the explanation of individual actions. In providing an account of individual agency, we are committed to a realistic understanding of our ordinary scheme of actionexplanations and have thus to recognize the centrality of reenactment. Nevertheless, Collingwood’s emphasis on reenactment is certainly one-sided. I will demonstrate its limitations even for accounting for individual agency, and show how it has to be supplemented by various theoretical considerations, by analyzing the different explanatory strategies that Christopher Browning and Daniel Goldhagen use to explain the behavior of the ordinary men in Reserve Battalion 101 during World War II.
|Keywords||Collingwood Philosophy of History|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Tyson Retz (2013). A Moderate Hermeneutical Approach to Empathy in History Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (3):1-13.
Tor Egil Førland (2004). The Ideal Explanatory Text in History: A Plea for Ecumenism. History and Theory 43 (3):321–340.
Tor Egil F.Ørland (2004). The Ideal Explanatory Text in History: A Plea for Ecumenism. History and Theory 43 (3):321-340.
Similar books and articles
Marita Sturken (1997). Reenactment, Fantasy, and the Paranoia of History: Oliver Stone's Docudramas. History and Theory 36 (4):64–79.
Sergeiy Sandler (2011). Reenactment: An Embodied Cognition Approach to Meaning and Linguistic Content. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):583-598.
Dimitrios Vardoulakis (2004). The Vicissitude of Completeness: Gadamer's Criticism of Collingwood. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (1):3 – 19.
Mark Bevir & Karsten Stueber (2011). Empathy, Rationality, and Explanation. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):147-162.
Stephen Turner (2011). Collingwood and Weber Vs. Mink: History After the Cognitive Turn. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):230-260.
Serge Grigoriev (2008). Continuity of the Rational: Naturalism and Historical Understanding in Collingwood. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):119-137.
Constantine Sandis (2011). A Just Medium: Empathy and Detachment in Historical Understanding. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (2):179-200.
John Luckman (1991). Metaphysics, History and the Unpublished Manuscripts. International Studies in Philosophy 23 (3):27-45.
Gary K. Browning (2004). Rethinking R.G. Collingwood: Philosophy, Politics, and the Unity of Theory and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.
Kenneth B. McIntyre (2008). Historicity as Methodology or Hermeneutics: Collingwood's Influence on Skinner and Gadamer. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):138-166.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads36 ( #131,180 of 1,940,976 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #197,910 of 1,940,976 )
How can I increase my downloads?