The sixteen essays in this volume confront the current debate about the relationship between philosophy and its history. On the one hand intellectual historians commonly accuse philosophers of writing bad - anachronistic - history of philosophy, and on the other, philosophers have accused intellectual historians of writing bad - antiquarian - history of philosophy. The essays here address this controversy and ask what purpose the history of philosophy should serve. Part I contains more purely theoretical and (...) methodological discussion, of such questions as whether there are 'timeless' philosophical problems, whether the issues of one epoch are commensurable with those of another, and what style is appropriate to the historiography of the subject. The essays in Part II consider a number of case-histories. They present important revisionist scholarship and original contributions on topics drawn from ancient, early modern and more recent philosophy. All the essays have been specially commissioned, and the contributors include many of the leading figures in the field. The volume as a whole will be of vital interest to everyone concerned with the study of philosophy and of its history. (shrink)
The use of general and universal laws in historiography has been the subject of debate ever since the end of the nineteenth century. Since the 1970s there has been a growing consensus that general laws such as those in the natural sciences are not applicable in the scientific writing of history. We will argue against this consensus view, not by claiming that the underlying conception of what historiography is—or should be—is wrong, but by contending that it is (...) based on a misconception of what general laws such as those of the natural sciences are. We will show that a revised notion of law, one inspired by the work of Sandra D. Mitchell, in tandem with Jim Woodward’s notion of “invariance,” is indeed applicable to historiography, much in the same way as it is to most other scientific disciplines. Having developed a more adequate account of general laws, we then show, by means of three examples, that what are called “pragmatic laws” and “invariance” do in fact play a role in history in several interesting ways. These examples—from cultural history, economic history, and the history of religion—have been selected on the basis of their diversity in order to illustrate the widespread use of pragmatic laws in history. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction. Unfounding times: the idea and ideal of ancient history in Western historical thought Alexandra Lianeri; Part I. Theorising Western Time: Concepts and Models: 1. Time's authority François Hartog; 2. Exemplarity and anti-exemplarity in Early Modern Europe Peter Burke; 3. Greek philosophy and Western history: a philosophy-centred temporality Giuseppe Cambiano; 4. Historiography and political theology: Momigliano and the end of history Howard Caygill; Part II. Ancient History and Modern Temporalities: 5. The (...) making of a bourgeois antiquity. Wilhelm von Humboldt and Greek history Stefan Rebenich; 6. Modern histories of Ancient Greece: genealogies, contexts and eighteenth-century narrative historiography Giovanna Ceserani; 7. Acquiring (a) historicity: Greek history, temporalities and eurocentrism in the Sattelzeit Kostas Vlassopoulos; 8. Herodotus and Thucydides in the view of nineteenth-century German historians Ulrich Muhlack; 9. Monumentality and the meaning of the past in ancient and modern historiography Neville Morley; Part III. Unfounding Time In and Through Ancient Historical Thought: 10. Thucydides and social change: between akribeia and universality Rosalind Thomas; 11. Historia magistra vitae in Herodotus and Thucydides? The exemplary use of the past, and ancient and modern temporalities Jonas Grethlein; 12. Repetition and exemplarity in historical thought: ancient Rome and the ghosts of modernity Ellen O'Gorman; 13. Time and authority in the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus Michael Williams; Part IV. Afterword: 14. Ancient history in the eighteenth century Oswyn Murray; 15. Seeing in and through time John Dunn. (shrink)
This original work caps years of thought by Leonard Krieger about the crisis of the discipline of history. His mission is to restore history's autonomy while attacking the sources of its erosion in various "new histories," which borrow their principles and methods from disciplines outside of history. Krieger justifies the discipline through an analysis of the foundations on which various generations of historians have tried to establish the coherence of their subject matter and of the convergence of (...) historical patterns. The heart of Krieger's narrative is an insightful analysis of theories of history from the classical period to the present, with a principal focus on the modern period. Krieger's exposition covers such figures as Ranke, Hegel, Comte, Marx, Acton, Troeltsch, Spengler, Braudel, and Foucault, among others, and his discussion involves him in subtle distinctions among terms such as historism, historicism, and historicity. He points to the impact on history of academic political radicalism and its results: the new social history. Krieger argues for the autonomy of historical principles and methods while tracing the importation in the modern period of external principles for historical coherence. Time's Reasons is a profound attempt to rejuvenate and restore integrity to the discipline of history by one of the leading masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century historiography. As such, it will be required reading for all historiographers and intellectual historians of the modern period. (shrink)
History casts a spell on our minds more powerful than science or religion. It does not root us in the past at all. It rather flatters us with the belief in our ability to recreate the world in our image. It is a form of self-assertion that brooks no opposition or dissent and shelters us from the experience of time. So argues Constantin Fasolt in The Limits of History , an ambitious and pathbreaking study that conquers history's (...) power by carrying the fight into the center of its domain. Fasolt considers the work of Hermann Conring (1606-81) and Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1313/14-57), two antipodes in early modern battles over the principles of European thought and action that ended with the triumph of historical consciousness. Proceeding according to the rules of normal historical analysis--gathering evidence, putting it in context, and analyzing its meaning--Fasolt uncovers limits that no kind of history can cross. He concludes that history is a ritual designed to maintain the modern faith in the autonomy of states and individuals. God wants it, the old crusaders would have said. The truth, Fasolt insists, only begins where that illusion ends. With its probing look at the ideological underpinnings of historical practice, The Limits of History demonstrates that history presupposes highly political assumptions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between the past and the present. A work of both intellectual history and historiography, it will prove invaluable to students of historical method, philosophy, political theory, and early modern European culture. (shrink)
Organized thematically, this important five-volume set brings together key essays from the field of historical studies. Including an extensive general introduction by the editor in the first volume, as well as shorter individual introductions in each of the following volumes, this set is essential reading for scholars and students alike. Coverage includes: 1. Foundations - The Classic Tradition - The Old Cultural History - Economic History 2: Society - Social History - Marxism - Annales - History (...) of Mentalities 3: Ideas - History of Ideas/ Intellectual History - History of Science - History of the Arts - History of Religion - History of Sexuality. 4: Culture - History and Anthropology - Microhistory - New Cultural History - History and Memory - The Poetics of History - Narrativity. Postmodernist Historiography and its Critics 5: Politics - Political History - Imperialism and Postcolonial History - World History - World-Systems Analysis. (shrink)
This work is an essential introduction to the vast body of writing about history, from classical Greece and Rome to the contemporary world. M.C. Lemon maps out key debates and central concepts of philosophy of history placing principal thinkers in the context of their times and schools of thought. Lemon explains the crucial differences between speculative philosophy as an n enquiry into the course and meaning of history and analytic philosophy of history as relating to the (...) nature and methods of history as a discipline. After providing a guide to the principal thinkers from pre-historical times to the present, the book goes on to present a critical summary of the leading issues raised by critical theorists of history, incorporating topics such as objectivity, ideology, historical explanation and narrative. (shrink)
How do historians, comparative linguists, biblical and textual critics and evolutionary biologists establish beliefs about the past? How do they know the past? This book presents a philosophical analysis of the disciplines that offer scientific knowledge of the past. Using the analytic tools of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science the book covers such topics as evidence, theory, methodology, explanation, determination and underdetermination, coincidence, contingency and counterfactuals in historiography. Aviezer Tucker's central claim is that historiography as a scientific (...) discipline should be thought of as an effort to explain the evidence of past events. He also emphasizes the similarity between historiographic methodology to Darwinian evolutionary biology. This is an important, fresh new approach to historiography and will be read by philosophers, historians and social scientists interested in the methodological foundations of their disciplines. (shrink)
Are historians storytellers? Is it possible to tell true stories about the past? These are just a couple of the questions raised in this comprehensive collection of texts about philosophy, theory, and methodology of writing history. Drawing together seminal texts from philosophers and historians, this volume presents the great debate over the narrative character of history from the 1960s onwards. The History and Narrative Reader combines theory with practice to offer a unique overview of this debate and (...) illuminates the practical implications of these philosophical debates for the writing of history. The editor's introduction offers a succinct survey of the subject to support the readings, which explore the role of narrative in everything from historical understanding and human action to linguistics and the practice of history. Including the work of F. R. Ankersmit, David Carr, Hayden White, W. H. Dray, and Frederick Olafson; a detailed bibliography; and a glossary of key concepts, this collection will prove an invaluable resource for students of historical theory and methodology. (shrink)
Is history more than (in Boswell's words) a `chronological series of remarkable events'? Does it have a pattern? Is it fraught with `meaning'? Can we discern its trends? What determines its course? In short, can a substantial and coherent philosophy of history be devised that offers answers to these questions? These issues, which have intrigued -and bedeviled - historians for centuries, are explored in this thoughtful book.
From the late-fifteenth century onwards, scholars across Europe began to write books about how to read and evaluate histories. These pioneering works - which often take surprisingly modern-sounding positions - grew from complex early modern debates about law, religion, and classical scholarship. In this book, based on the Trevelyan Lectures of 2005, Anthony Grafton explains why so many of these works were written, why they attained so much insight - and why, in the centuries that followed, most scholars gradually forgot (...) that they had existed. Elegant and accessible, What Was History? is a deliberate evocation of E. H. Carr’s celebrated and icononclastic Trevelyan Lectures on What Is History?, and will appeal to a broad readership of students, scholars and historical enthusiasts. Anthony Grafton is one of the most celebrated historians writing in English today, and What Was History? is a powerful and imaginative exploration of some central themes in the history of European ideas. (shrink)
Narrative and History explains the key concepts and practices in the composition and writing of history. It explores how knowledge of the ways in which historians author history affects many conventional understandings of its nature. Major concepts such as truth, objectivity, reference and representation are re-evaluated and re-thought in radical ways. Combining theory with practice, Alun Munslow expands the boundaries of the discipline and charts a new role for unconventional historical forms and modes of expression.
Willie Thompson offers a clear, jargon-free introduction to postmodernist theory and its significant impact on the study of history. This is a hotly-debated topic, and much of the literature is both polemical and inaccessible to the novice. Thompson, however, presents key ideas in a straightforward way, making these debates relevant to students' own work.
Including international contributors from a variety of disciplines - History, English, Information Studies and Archivists – this book does not seek either to applaud or condemn digital technologies, but takes a more conceptual view of how ...
The paper focuses on the concept of matter and the material in Edgar Zilsel’s considerations about historiographical methods in the context of the Marxist debates on the materialist conception of history in the 1920s and 1930s (György Lukács, Max Adler). It sheds light on Zilsel’s understanding of matter as fluctuating, interfering processes in the lapse of time and the related concept of irreversible laws and relates it to Ernst Mach’s philosophy and to Richard Semon’s theory of mneme . Finally, (...) it shows the practical consequences of the concept of materialism in Edgar Zilsel’s epistemology. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
German Idealism develops its philosophy of history as the theory of becoming absolute and as absolute knowledge. Historism also originates from Hegel's and Schelling's discovery of absolute historicity as it turns against Idealism's philosophy of history by emphasizing the singular and unique in the process of history. German Idealism and Historism can be considered as the central German contribution to the history of ideas. Since Idealism became most influential for modern philosophy and Historism for modern (...) class='Hi'>historiography, they are analyzed in this volume in a collaboration of philosophers and historians. German Idealism is presented in Schelling and its critics Schlegel, Baader, and Nietzsche; Historism in Ranke, Droysen, Burckhardt, and Treitschke. The volume further presents the impact of Idealism and Historism on present German approaches to the philosophy of history and outlines the debates on the possibility of a philosophy of history and on the methodology of the historical sciences. (shrink)
This book reveals the rational basis for historians' descriptions, interpretations and explanations of past events. C. Behan McCullagh defends the practice of history as more reliable than has recently been acknowledged. Historians, he argues, make their accounts of the past as fair as they can and avoid misleading their readers. He explains and discusses postmodern criticisms of history, providing students and teachers of history with a renewed validation of their practice. McCullagh takes the history debate to (...) a new stage with bold replies to the major questions historians face today. (shrink)
The paper explores the question of the relationship between the practice of original philosophical inquiry and the study of the history of philosophy. It is written from my point of view as someone starting a research project in the history of philosophy that calls this issue into question, in order to review my starting positions. I argue: first, that any philosopher is sufficiently embedded in culture that her practice is necessarily historical; second, that original work is in fact (...) in part a reconstruction by reinterpretation of the past and that therefore it bears some relation to historiographic techniques for the restoration of damaged objects and texts; and third that the special oddities of the relations of present and past do not fail to ensnare the philosopher, who must restore the past but freely break from it. I describe this relationship as proleptic. Finally, I argue that this is a moral imperative in writing philosophy, derived from the imperative to be honest. (shrink)
In this engaging sequel to Rethinking History , Keith Jenkins argues for a re-figuration of historical study. At the core of his survey lies the realization that objective and disinterested histories as well as historical 'truth' are unachievable. The past and questions about the nature of history remain interminably open to new and disobedient approaches. Jenkins reassesses conventional history in a bold fashion. His committed and radical study presents new ways of 'thinking history', a new methodology (...) and philosophy and their impact on historical practice. This volume is written for students and teachers of history, illuminating and changing the core of their discipline. (shrink)
In the first edition of White Mythologies (1990) Robert Young challenged the status of history, asking whether in this postmodern era we should consider it a Western myth, with an uncertain status. Is it, he asked, possible to write history that avoids the trap of Eurocentrism? Investigating the history of History, from Hegel to Foucault, White Mythologies calls into question traditional accounts of a single 'World History' which leaves aside the 'Third World' as surplus to (...) the narrative of the West. Young goes on to consider questionings of the limits of Western knowledge in the work of Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi Bhabha. For Young, these thinkers have been involved in a project to decolonize History and to deconstruct 'the West'. In exploring these issues, he shows us the relation of history to theory and of politics to knowledge. White Mythologies has proved to be one of the most important critical works in post-colonial theory of the last two decades. It has engendered much debate and inspired countless critical responses. Twelve years after publication, Robert Young returns to the issues raised in this book to offer fresh perspectives and to reflect upon developments in the post-colonial debate since White Mythologies was first published. (shrink)
The question of what the nature of history is, is now a key issue for all students of history. It is now recognized by many that the past and history are different phenomena and that the way the past is actively historicized can be highly problematic and contested. Older metaphysical, ontological, epistemological, methodological and ethical assumptions can no longer be taken as read. In this timely collection, key pieces of writing by leading historians are reproduced and evaluated, (...) with an explanation and critique of their character and assumptions, and how they reflect upon the nature of the history project. The authors respond to the view that the nature of history has become so disparate in assumption, approach and practice as to require an informed guide that is both self-reflexive, engaged, critical and innovative. This work seeks to aid a positive re-thinking of history today, and will be of use both to students and to their teachers. (shrink)
Series Copy Oxford's celebrated Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject developed in its own right and how it influenced (...) society. Whatever the area of study one deems important or appealing, whatever topic fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introduction series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable. (shrink)
This book offers the first sustained multi-disciplinary investigation of the question and status of ethics in light of the current "return to ethics" underway in a variety of critical fields. While the questions of ethics have become increasingly important in recent years for many fields within the humanities, there has been no single volume that seeks to address the emergence of this concern with ethics across the disciplinary spectrum. Given this lack in currently available critical and secondary texts, and also (...) the urgency of the issues addressed by the critics assembled here, the time is right for a collection of this nature. By assembling the work of nine critics from among these disciplines-including philosophy, women's studies, cultural studies, anthropology, literary studies, and history-this collection will help to frame the conversation on the status of ethics in the coming years. One of the great features of the book is the very high quality of work and the importance within the critical scene of many of its contributors. Contributors: Lowell Gallagher, Richard J. Golsan, David E. Johnson, Howard Marchitello, Kelly Oliver, Marshall Sahlins, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Tzvetan Todorov, Krzysztof Ziarek. (shrink)
This is a broad and ambitious study of the entire history of humanity which takes as its point of departure Marx's theory of social evolution. However, Professor Diakonoff's theory of world history differs from Marx's in a number of ways. Firstly he has expanded Marx's five stages of development to eight. Secondly he denies that social evolution necessarily implies progress and shows how 'each progress is simultaneously a regress', and thirdly he demonstrates that the transition from one stage (...) to another is not necessarily marked by social conflict and that sometimes this is achieved peacefully and gracefully. As the book moves through these various stages, the reader is drawn into a remarkable and thought-provoking study of the process of the history of the human race which focuses on the wide range of factors (economic, social, military-technological, and socio-pyschological) which have influenced our development from palaeolithic times to the present day. (shrink)
Scholars in the early seventeenth century who studied ancient Greek scientific theories often drew upon philology and history to reconstruct a more general picture of the Greek past. Gassendi's training as a humanist historiographer enabled him to formulate a conception of the history of philosophy in which the rationality of scientific and philosophical inquiry depended on the historical justifications which he developed for his beliefs. Professor Joy examines this conception and analyzes the nature of Gassendi's historical training, especially (...) its relationship to his career as a physicist and astronomer. She shows how he rehabilitated Epicurean atomism by bringing together the arguments of the Greek atomists and those of his contemporaries. In doing so, he produced an account of the natural world which made it an object of empirical study and mechanical explanation. (shrink)
In this ambitious work, Fred Weinstein confronts the obstacles that have increasingly frustrated our attempts to explain social and historical reality. Traditionally, we have relied on history and social theory to describe the ways people understand the world they live in. But the ordering explanations we have always used--derived from the classical social theories originally forged by Marx, Tocqueville, Weber, Durkheim, Freud--have collapsed. In the wake of this collapse or "fall," the rival claims of fiction, psychoanalysis, sociology, anthropology, and (...)history have created the dilemma of radical relativism, the prospect of multiple interpretations of any complex historical event. The basic strategy of social theory and the social sciences--the search for underlying unities--proves so inherently contradictory and has provided so little in the way of reliable knowledge of social and historical relationships that to many critics it seems no longer worth pursuing. Weinstein enters the debate by rejecting any search for underlying structural unities, dynamic or social, through which historians have attempted to find continuity with the past. He looks instead to ideological processes, to the construction of successive and changing versions of reality that mediate between the power of fantasy on the one side and the power of the social world on the other. He argues further that the need to use ideological constructs in this way accounts for the heterogeneous and changing content of social movements and for the persistent need people have always had for authoritative leaders, even in democratized societies. He suggests that people have historically been able to take a step away from leaders only by substituting the possession of objects such as property or money. This book is a breakthrough in poststructuralist theory that is sure to stimulate considerable discussion, especially about the shape of the social sciences and the future of historical interpretation. (shrink)
One of the major intellectual debates at the beginning of the new century concerns the status of accounts of the past. Do historians discover or invent, construct or reconstruct the objects they study? The discussion has been particularly lively in France and in the USA, and it is therefore appropriate that a group of distinguished historians from Britain should now engage with this subject. These ten essays present a historical and critical overview of British historical thought and writing since 1900, (...) focusing on selected periods, regions, disciplines, and themes. This challenging volume will intrigue anyone interested in the process of history writing. (shrink)
E.H. Carr's What is History?, published in 1961, was a runaway bestseller and the most influential book to examine writing and thinking about history this century. To commemorate the book's forthieth anniversary, David Cannadine has gathered an all-star cast of contributors to ask and seek answers to E.H. Carr's classic question for a new generation of historians: what does it mean to study history at the start of the twenty-first century? The contributors pose this question anew for (...) the most important and lively subfields of history writing today. For example, Alice Kessler-Harris ponders "what is gender history now?" while Paul Cartledge asks "what is social history now?" This volume stands along E.H. Carr's classic, paying tribute to his seminal inquiry while moving the debate into new territory, ensuring its freshness and relevance for a new century of historical study. (shrink)
In the last 20 years postmodernism has had a powerful effect on the discipline of history and is now forcing empiricist historians to articulate their methods, and to defend them as both possible and virtuous. In this concise introduction, Stephen Davies explains what historians mean by empiricism, examines the origins, growth and persistence of empirical methods, and shows how students can apply these methods to their own work.
Machine generated contents note: 1 Aims and Purposes -- 2 The Beginnings of Historical Consciousness -- 3 Historical Consciousness in the Modern Age -- 4 Philosophy of History: Speculative Approaches -- 5 Philosophy of History: Analytical Approaches -- 6 Reading, Writing, and Research -- 7 Professional History in Recent Times -- Postscript: Culture Wars and Postmodernism.
Margaret MacMillan, an acclaimed historian and “great storyteller” ( The New York Review of Books ), explores here the many ways in which history–its values and dangers–affects us all, including how it is used and abused. The New York Times bestselling author of Paris 1919 and Nixon and Mao reveals how a deeper engagement with history in our private lives and, more important, in the sphere of public debate can guide us to a richer, more enlightened existence, as (...) individuals and nations. Alive with incident and figures both great and infamous, including Robespierre, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Mao Zedong, Karl Marx, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and George W. Bush, Dangerous Games explores why it is important to treat history with care. History is used to justify religious movements and political campaigns alike. The manipulation of history is increasingly pervasive in today’s world. Dictators may suppress history because it undermines their ideas, agendas, or claims to absolute authority. Nationalists may tell false, one-sided, or misleading stories about the past. Political leaders might mobilize their people by telling lies. Adolf Hitler, for instance, blamed the Jews for Germany’s humiliation at Versailles and its defeat in World War I. It is imperative that we have an understanding of the past and avoid the all-too-common traps in thinking to which many fall prey–as MacMillan skillfully illuminates. This brilliantly reasoned work will compel us to examine history anew, including our own understanding of it, and our own closely held beliefs. (shrink)
For the English speaking reader of today, Ranke is surprisingly inaccessible; indeed, he has become something of a patron saint, more praised than read. Now all his major works have been translated, while almost none of his letters, notes, or essays, so important in getting an informal appraisal of his craft of history, is in English. Many of his of books, whether in German or in English, are no longer in print, and the modern reader is less likely to (...) bear up with the four or six volume works which are. Thus the purpose of this anthology is to bring attention to some of the riches which a reader might find in a more extended study of Ranke's histories. Its emphasis is on Ranke as an historian, with translations of essays and addresses which lay down his program for research, politics, and the relationship between and historian's values and his work. It also attempts to give some sense of Ranke's literary skill, by including examples of his historical portraiture from his History of the Popes, History of France, and History of the Reformation. Finally, a selection of letters and brief reflections culled from his works and notes tries to recapture the man, whose own inner development joined with the tendencies of his age to make him a world-historical figure in Ranke's own sense of the word. (shrink)
International Relations and the Philosophy of History examines the concept of civilization in relation to international systems through an extensive use of the literature in the philosophy of history. A. Nuri Yurdusev demonstrates the relevance of a civilizational approach to the study of contemporary international relations by looking at the multi-civilizational nature of the modern international system, the competing claims of national and civilizational identities and the rise of civilizational consciousness after the Cold War.