A collapse of trust: Reconceptualizing the crisis of historicism

Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (1):63-82 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This essay redefines the crisis of historicism as a collapse of trust. Following Friedrich Jaeger, it suggests that this crisis should be understood, not as a crisis caused by historicist methods, but as a crisis faced by the classical historicist tradition of Ranke. The "nihilism" and "moral relativism" feared by Troeltsch's generation did not primarily refer to the view that moral universals did not exist; rather, they expressed that the historical justification of bildungsbürgerliche values offered by classical historicism did no longer work. In Niklas Luhmann's vocabulary, this is to say that moral values could no longer be trusted on historical grounds. But when the "reduction of complexity" offered by classical historicism collapsed, Troeltsch's generation faced a justification problem: what other modes of justification, if any at all, were available in a time of increasing secularization and growing feelings of discontinuity with the past? In identifying the crisis of historicism with this moral justification problem, this essay helps explain why such debts of despair could be reached in the early-twentieth-century disputes over historicism.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,247

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Why We Cannot Make History. Some Remarks on a Lesson From Early Historicism.Peter Vogt - 2010 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):121-137.
Friedrich Meinecke: Panentheism and the Crisis of Historicism.Reinbert A. Krol - 2010 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):195-209.
An Orthodox Historicism?Jack A. Bonsor - 1990 - Philosophy and Theology 4 (4):335-350.
Why Was There a Crisis of Historicism?Allan Megill - 1997 - History and Theory 36 (3):416–429.
What is Historicism?Andrew Reynolds - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (3):275 – 287.
Beyond Historicism: From Leibniz to Luhmann.Jaap den Hollander - 2010 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):210-225.
Heidegger, Dilthey, and the Crisis of Historicism.Frank Schalow - 1997 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):621-623.
Religion and the Crisis of Historicism: Protestant and Catholic Perspectives.Herman Paul - 2010 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 4 (2):172-194.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
43 (#268,951)

6 months
1 (#415,205)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Crisis Discussions in Psychology—New Historical and Philosophical Perspectives.Thomas Sturm & Annette Mülberger - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2):425-433.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Historicism: The History and Meaning of the Term.Georg G. Iggers - 1995 - Journal of the History of Ideas 56 (1):129-152.

Add more references