Historicity as methodology or hermeneutics: Collingwood's influence on Skinner and Gadamer

In this paper, I offer both a brief study of Collingwood's conception of historical explanation and epistemological historicity, and an examination of the influence of Collingwood's work on the historical methodology of Quentin Skinner and on Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy. Collingwood's work on the philosophy of history manifests a tension between the realist implications of the doctrine of reenactment and the logic of question and answer on the one hand, and, on the other, the constructionist tendency of the rest of his work on the logic of historical inquiry and on the hermeneutic character of his more general conception of human historicity. This tension is displayed in the divergent interpretations of Collingwood by Quentin Skinner and Hans-Georg Gadamer, and in the inherent difficulties of each man's philosophy of history. I argue that the weaknesses of Skinner's methodological historicism are present already in his reading of Collingwood and reflect the difficulties inherent in understanding Collingwood as offering primarily a methodology of history. I also claim that Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy, while presenting a more plausible reading of Collingwood, suffers from tensions similar to those within Collingwood's work between the logic of explanation and the logic of practical recommendation, and between the character of historical explanation and the character of philosophical understanding.
Keywords Collingwood   Philosophy of History
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/187226308X315013
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,662
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Moderate Hermeneutical Approach to Empathy in History Education.Tyson Retz - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (3):1-13.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

86 ( #57,417 of 2,143,796 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #387,161 of 2,143,796 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums