About this topic
Summary 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.
Key works 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 1957 expressing noncausal modes of understanding past actions.  Skinner 1969 applies speech act theory to the history of ideas and the interpretation of evidence.  Danto 1965 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.
Introductions 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 2008 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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1 — 50 / 8216
  1. added 2019-01-09
    Faith as Poeisis in Nicholas of Cusa's Pursuit of Wisdom.Jason Aleksander - 2018 - In Thomas Izbicki, Jason Aleksander & Donald Duclow (eds.), Nicholas of Cusa in Ages of Transition. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 197-218.
    This article discusses how Nicholas of Cusa’s speculative philosophy harbors an ecumenical spirit that is deeply entwined and in tension with his commitment to incarnational mystical theology. On the basis of my discussion of this tension, I intend to show that Nicholas understands “faith” as a poietic activity whose legitimacy is rooted less in the independent veracity of the beliefs in question than in the potential of particular religious conventions to aid intellectual processes of self-interpretation. In undertaking this analysis, the (...)
  2. added 2019-01-09
    Time, History, and Providence in the Philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa.Jason Aleksander - 2014 - Mirabilia 19 (2).
    Although Nicholas of Cusa occasionally discussed how the universe must be understood as the unfolding of the absolutely infinite in time, he left open questions about any distinction between natural time and historical time, how either notion of time might depend upon the nature of divine providence, and how his understanding of divine providence relates to other traditional philosophical views. From texts in which Cusanus discussed these questions, this paper will attempt to make explicit how Cusanus understood divine providence. The (...)
  3. added 2019-01-07
    Was Emily Brown American Empress in Korea?Jong-pil Yoon - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 12 (1):71-92.
    _ Source: _Page Count 22 This paper investigates the limits and meaning of historical inquiry in light of inferential contextualism that holds as its central tenet that the epistemic status of a proposition depends on the context of the subject. Historical inquiry, the discussion will show, is an epistemic practice that operates under the reliabilist presupposition that beliefs formed through the processes, whose pragmatic utility has been already proven in problem solving situations, may be taken to be rationally justified.As for (...)
  4. added 2018-12-31
    Jak „Chiny” stworzyły Europę: narodziny oświeceniowego sekularyzmu z ducha konfucjanizmu.Dawid Rogacz - 2017 - Diametros 54:138-160.
    The aim of the article is to demonstrate that the contact between European philosophy and Chinese culture in the 17 th and 18 th centuries had an influence on the emergence and development of secularism, which became a distinctive feature of the Western Enlightenment. In the first part, I examine in what way knowledge of the history of China and the Confucian ethics contested the Biblical chronology and undermined faith as a prerequisite for morality. Subsequently, I analyze the attempts to (...)
  5. added 2018-12-22
    A Personalist Philosophy of History.Bennett Gilbert (ed.) - forthcoming - London: Routledge.
    Historical study has traditionally been built around the placement of the human at the center of inquiry. The de-stabilized concepts of the human in contemporary thought challenge this configuration. However, the ways in which these challenges provoke new historical perspectives both expand and enrich historical study but are also weak and vulnerable in their concept of the human, lacking or omitting something valuable in our self-understanding. A Personalist Philosophy of History argues for a robust concept of personhood in our experience (...)
  6. added 2018-12-22
    La Proyección Del Periodismo En El Cine: Treinta Películas Indispensables.José Santillán Arruz - 2018 - Cultura 32:77-97.
  7. added 2018-12-22
    Simone Weil’s Philosophy of History.Bennett Gilbert - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 13.
    The philosophical and religious ideas of Simone Weil bear on theory of history and historiography in ways not previously explored. They amount to a view of history as a consequence of the original creation, but they also exclude theodicy. By examining these ideas we see some of the ways in which to develop a theory history centered on a conception of moral understanding that is impartialist and universal. For Weil such understanding is both inside of and outside of history. This (...)
  8. added 2018-12-19
    Talk! As Historical Practice.Joshua Kates - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):145-167.
  9. added 2018-12-19
    “If the Whole World Were Paper…” a History of Writing in the North Indian Vernacular.Tyler Williams - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):81-101.
  10. added 2018-12-19
    Shadow and Impress: Ethnography, Film, and the Task of Writing History in the Space of South Africa's Deindustrialization.Rosalind C. Morris - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):102-125.
  11. added 2018-12-19
    Parables of Inscription: Some Notes on Narratives of the Origin of Writing.David Lurie - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):32-49.
  12. added 2018-12-19
    History as Form, with Simmel in Tow.Nancy Rose Hunt - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):126-144.
  13. added 2018-12-19
    The Compositor's Reversal: Typography, Science, and Creation in Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.John Tresch - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):8-31.
  14. added 2018-12-19
    Making a Mark.Laura Stark - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):3-7.
  15. added 2018-12-19
    Writing Beyond Time: The Durability of Historical Texts.Jaume Aurell - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):50-70.
  16. added 2018-12-19
    Reflections on Temporal Perspective: The Use and Abuse of Hindsight.David Carr - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (4):71-80.
  17. added 2018-12-13
    Sande Cohen, "Historical Culture: On the Recoding of an Academic Discipline". [REVIEW]Omar Dahbour - 1988 - Theory and Society 17 (4):597.
  18. added 2018-12-12
    History for a Practice Profession.Patricia D'Antonio - 2006 - Nursing Inquiry 13 (4):242-248.
  19. added 2018-12-09
    Hegel: história, liberdade e progresso.Gabriel Rodrigues da Silva - 2018 - Dissertation,
    The objective of this work is to analyze and to present the Introduction of the work Lessons on the Philosophy of History, written by the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Throughout the work, the chapters that constitute the Introduction of the work got the priority, since it is in these chapters that Hegel presents and defines the fundamental concepts that will be the key to reading the rest of the work. These concepts include: history, freedom, progress, reason, Spirit, human (...)
  20. added 2018-12-08
    Cada quien su historia verdadera. Algunas sugestiones sobre el papel de la emotividad en el análisis historiográfico.Gustavo Martínez Santiago - 2013 - In Rocío Enríquez Rosas & Oliva López Sánchez (eds.), Las emociones como dispositivos para la comprehensión del mundo social (Emociones e interdisciplina, 1). Ciudad de México, CDMX, México:
  21. added 2018-12-07
    The Place of Research in the Study of History.Rushton Coulborn - 1936 - Journal of Social Philosophy and Jurisprudence 1 (3):282.
  22. added 2018-12-06
    1. Constructing a Selectionist Paradigm. The Theory of Cultural and Social Selection. By W. G. Runciman.Martin Stuart-Fox - 2011 - History and Theory 50 (2):229-242.
    In his latest contribution to the application of Darwinian evolutionary thinking to the social sciences, W. G. Runciman conceives of human behavior as resulting from three levels of selection - biological, cultural, and social. These give rise, respectively, to evoked, acquired, and imposed patterns of behavior. The biological level is hardly controversial, but to draw a distinction between separate cultural and social selective processes is more problematic. Runciman takes memes to be the variants competitively selected at the cultural level and (...)
  23. added 2018-12-02
    Macrohistory Essays in Sociology of the Long Run.Randall Collins - 1999
  24. added 2018-11-25
    The Critique Of Utopian Reason. An Abstract.Ionel Cioară - 2010 - Annales Philosophici 1:10-17.
    I reassert in these pages the main ideas of my book published in 2003, having in mind the fact that a meditation on the importance, the value and the impact of the utopian way of thinking on historical development are as important and concerning today as a couple of years ago.
  25. added 2018-11-24
    Comments on Chyzhevs'kyi's Historiography of Philosophy in Ukraine.Andrew Chrucky - manuscript
    Several months ago, after I volunteered to examine Dmytro Chyzhevs'kyi's works on the history of philosophy in Ukraine, I found myself with a dilemma. The first problem was that I did not possess a first-hand knowledge of Ukrainian literature to conceive independently a history of philosophy in Ukraine to act as a foil against Chyzhevs'kyi's views. The second problem was that my reading of Chyzhevs'kyi resulted in an unmanageable pile of criticism. The result is that what I have to say (...)
  26. added 2018-11-22
    Five Conceptions of History.Arthur Child - 1957 - Ethics 68 (1):28-38.
  27. added 2018-11-17
    The Idol of History.James W. Ceaser - 2003 - Social Philosophy and Policy 20 (1):38-58.
    “The idol of communism, which spread social strife, enmity and unparalleled brutality everywhere, which instilled fear in humanity, has collapsed.” These words, spoken by Russian president Boris Yeltsin before a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 1992, brought a tumultuous response from America's political leaders. The evocation of the theme of idolatry by a former member of the Communist Party was striking, all the more so because it must have called to his listeners' minds the dramatic scenes of the (...)
  28. added 2018-11-16
    Book Review: Extended Sentiments and Enlarged Interests: Hume’s Politics The Politics of Eloquence: David Hume’s Polite Rhetoric, by Marc Hanvelt and Hume’s Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England, by Andrew Sabl. [REVIEW]Ross Carroll - 2014 - Political Theory 42 (3):377-384.
  29. added 2018-11-16
    Book Review: Extended Sentiments and Enlarged Interests: Hume’s Politics The Politics of Eloquence: David Hume’s Polite Rhetoric, by Marc Hanvelt and Hume’s Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England, by Andrew SablThe Politics of Eloquence: David Hume’s Polite Rhetoric, by HanveltMarc. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.Hume’s Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England, by SablAndrew. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012. [REVIEW]Ross Carroll - 2014 - Political Theory 42 (3):377-384.
  30. added 2018-11-16
    Reviews : Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier and Roy Rosenzweig (Eds), Presenting the Past: Essays on History and the Public (Temple University Press, 1986).Martha Buskirk - 1988 - Thesis Eleven 20 (1):148-152.
  31. added 2018-11-12
    Foucault and Derrida - the History of a Debate on History.Antonio Campillo - 2000 - Angelaki 5 (2):113 – 135.
  32. added 2018-11-11
    History Is Not Historicism.Gene Callahan - 2009 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 21 (4):467-474.
    Nassim Taleb’s dismissal of history as based on the “narrative fallacy”—which reads our present knowledge of past events into our reconstruction of the past—is based on a fundamental misconception of what historians actually do. Historians do not, as Taleb presumes, try to infer general, predictive laws from “hard” facts, as do natural scientists; instead their aim is to discover the causes of unique historical facts among antecedent facts. This is no different, in principle, from “narrating” the cause of a supernova (...)
  33. added 2018-11-11
    Making History: Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory.Alex Callinicos - 2004 - Brill.
  34. added 2018-11-09
    Chris Given-Wilson, Chronicles: The Writing of History in Medieval England. London and New York: Hambledon and London, 2004. Pp. Xxiii, 292 Plus 8 Black-and-White Figures. $29.95. [REVIEW]Sara M. Butler - 2006 - Speculum 81 (3):852-853.
  35. added 2018-11-09
    History as the Emancipation From the Past Oration Delivered at the London School of Economics and Political Science on Friday, 9 December 1955.Herbert Butterfield - 1956 - London School of Economics and Political Science.
  36. added 2018-11-09
    History: Its Purpose and Method. By Arthur Child. [REVIEW]H. Butterfield - 1950 - Ethics 61:233.
  37. added 2018-11-08
    Philosophies of History: From Enlightenment to Post-Modernity.R. M. Burns & Hugh Rayment-Pickard (eds.) - 2000 - Blackwell.
  38. added 2018-10-28
    The Big Picture and the Closeup: Two Perspectives on Contemporary American Intellectual History.Paul S. Boyer - 2012 - Modern Intellectual History 9 (2):491-505.
  39. added 2018-10-25
    The Worldview of Feliks Młynarski.Stanisław Borzym - 2007 - Archiwum Historii Filozofii I Myśli Społecznej 52.
    Feliks Młynarski holds a specific position in the history of Polish Thought. He had philosophical ambitions, not only restricting to historiosophy and the theory of society. His metaphysical ideas are the least known. As the philosopher of history he pointed to three stages of emancipation: equality to God, equality to law and equal rights to social income. In his theory of the nation he undoubtedly referred to the tradition of the Polish Romanticism and not to the conceptions inspired by social (...)
  40. added 2018-10-21
    An Interdisciplinary Concept of Activity.Andy Blunden - 2009 - Outlines. Critical Practice Studies 11 (1):1-26.
    It is suggested that if Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) is to fulfil its potential as an approach to cultural and historical science in general, then an interdisciplinary concept of activity is needed. Such a concept of activity would provide a common foundation for all the human sciences, underpinning concepts of, for example, state and social movement equally as, for example, learning and personality. For this is needed a clear conception of the ‘unit of analysis’ of activity, i.e., of what constitutes (...)
  41. added 2018-10-21
    End of History and Fin de Siecle Politics. The Political Theory of Posthistory.Mircea Boari - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Hawai'i
    It is the specific expertise of the philosopher to glance at the affairs of humanity from the stratospheric areas of spirit. That is how a theory of the end of history first appeared in the oeuvre of Hegel. Ever since, scholars insistently addressed his work, trying to see how should, in particular, his philosophy be understood and how can one, in general, justify such ambitious and systematic projects. In the age of skepticism, relativism and positivism, of virulent historicism, the speculative (...)
  42. added 2018-10-14
    Saint Simon's Philosophy of History.Samuel Bernstein - 1948 - Science and Society 12 (1):82 - 96.
  43. added 2018-09-13
    Under a Redescription.Kevin McMillan - 2003 - History of the Human Sciences 16 (2):129-150.
    This article takes up issues raised in the debate over what Ian Hacking has labelled `an indeterminacy in the past'. It addresses certain criticisms of Wes Sharrock and Ivan Leudar, and attempts to develop further the idea that difficulties with retroactive redescription reflect a deep indeterminacy about certain past actions. It suggests that there are in fact two distinct but related indeterminacies at issue, and that these may best be understood in the context of Hacking's theses about the historical constitution (...)
  44. added 2018-09-12
    Conceptual Analysis for Genealogical Philosophy: How to Study the History of Practices After Foucault and Wittgenstein.Colin Koopman - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (S1):103-121.
    Inquiry into the history of practices in the manner of Foucault's philosophical genealogy requires that we distinguish between practical action, on the one hand, and mere behavior, on the other. The need for this distinction may help explicate an aspect of Foucault's philosophical genealogy that might otherwise appear misplaced, namely his attention to rationalities and its attendant conceptual material. This article shows how a genealogical attention to practice goes hand in hand with an attention to the role of the conceptual (...)
  45. added 2018-09-06
    3. Nature, Religion, and Imagination: Comments on Images of History.Robert R. Clewis - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (3):419-425.
  46. added 2018-09-06
    Calling for a Practice Turn in Global History: Practices as Drivers of Globalization/S.Angelika Epple - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (3):390-407.
  47. added 2018-09-06
    Hegel and Pathologized Modernity, or the End of Spirit in the Anthropocene.Simon Lumsden - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (3):371-389.
  48. added 2018-09-06
    2. Bootstrapping, Self-Binding, and Other Metaphors of Antifoundationalism.Warren Breckman - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (3):413-418.
  49. added 2018-09-06
    Schopenhauer's Philosophy of History.Anthony K. Jensen - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (3):349-370.
  50. added 2018-09-06
    Historia Magistra Vitae, Interrupting: Thucydides and the Agonistic Temporality of Antiquity and Modernity.Alexandra Lianeri - 2018 - History and Theory 57 (3):327-348.
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