Modern Intellectual History 7 (1):151-184 (2010)

This essay reconstructs the intellectual development of the philosopher of history Louis O. Mink Jr, in order to illuminate the philosophical background to in American historical epistemology. From around 1970, Mink was a prominent and influential defender of the view that historical narratives were imaginative constructions rather than representations of past actuality. This has since been understood as a characteristically postmodern view. Mink's wider sensibility, however, is better described as modernist than postmodernist. The crucial context for his philosophy was a hostility to going back to his graduate years at Yale, and his epistemological views were of a piece with a defence of historical understanding as both distinctive and valuable. In both respects Mink was influenced by the philosophy of R. G. Collingwood, while he was himself an important influence on Hayden White. Mink's case therefore helps bridge the gap between interwar and later twentieth-century versions of Anglophone historical contructivism, while drawing attention to some cultural contexts in which the development of both modernist and postmodernist views of historiography must be understood
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DOI 10.1017/s1479244309990308
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The Function of General Laws in History.Carl G. Hempel - 1942 - Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):35-48.
Philosophy and the Historical Understanding.Louis Arnaud Reid - 1964 - British Journal of Educational Studies 13 (1):90.

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