David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):121-137 (2010)
There are various perspectives from which the meaning of historicism can be understood. Historically, the interpretation of historicism has predominantly been interested in either questions concerning historical methodology, or the relationship between the natural and human sciences, or the normative consequences of historicism. My intention is not to cast doubt upon the legitimacy of these different research approaches, but rather to supplement them by confronting the meaning of historicism from the perspective of a different question. Did historicism in the late 18th and the early 19th centuries formulate a notion of historical chance or of historical contingency, a notion of what is neither necessary nor impossible in history but rather the result of accident and chance? To answer this question, I begin with Reinhart Koselleck's interpretation of historicism presented in two rather short essays, "Der Zufall als Motivationsrest in der Geschichtsschreibung" and "Über die Verfügbarkeit von Geschichte". In the next step of my analysis, I confront Koselleck's interpretation of the historicist sensibility for contingency and chance with Odo Marquard's conceptual distinction between two notions of contingency and chance. This line of argumentation gives rise to a definition of historicism as a theoretical sensibility for the "fatefully accidental" (Marquard). I further support this claim with an analysis of Savigny's legal history, of Schleiermacher's theology and of the "anti-Faustian" (Werner Busch) art of Caspar David Friedrich. Historicism ultimately teaches us that history is never the exact outcome of the intentions of historical actors. Though human beings undeniably act in history, they cannot make history or at least cannot make it as they please. It is in this regard that I find, in my concluding remarks, Hermann Lübbe's description of historicism as a "sermon of human finitude" to be wholly accurate
|Keywords||Koselleck historical disposability Lübbe historical contingency historicism historical chance|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jack A. Bonsor (1990). An Orthodox Historicism? Philosophy and Theology 4 (4):335-350.
Herman Paul (2010). Religion and the Crisis of Historicism: Protestant and Catholic Perspectives. Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):172-194.
Frank Ankersmit (2010). The Necessity of Historicism. Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):226-240.
Andrew Reynolds (1999). What is Historicism? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (3):275 – 287.
Peter Munz (1997). The Quixotic Element in the Open Society. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27 (1):39-55.
Carla Mazzio & Douglas Trevor (eds.) (2000). Historicism, Psychoanalysis, and Early Modern Culture. Routledge.
Jaap den Hollander (2010). Beyond Historicism: From Leibniz to Luhmann. Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):210-225.
Peter Woodford (2012). Specters of the Nineteenth Century: Charles Taylor and the Problem of Historicism. [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (1):171-192.
Herman J. Paul (2008). A Collapse of Trust: Reconceptualizing the Crisis of Historicism. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (1):63-82.
Added to index2010-08-16
Total downloads18 ( #203,331 of 1,796,208 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #349,835 of 1,796,208 )
How can I increase my downloads?