Rethinking History 22 (1):105-125 (2018)

Authors
Zoltán Boldizsár Simon
Bielefeld University
Abstract
The historical sensibility of Western modernity is best captured by the phrase “acting upon a story that we can believe.” Whereas the most famous stories of historians facilitated nation-building processes, philosophers of history told the largest possible story to act upon: history itself. When the rise of an overwhelming postwar skepticism about the modern idea of history discredited the entire enterprise, the historical sensibility of “acting upon a story that we can believe” fell apart to its constituents: action, story form, and belief in a feasible future outcome. Its constituent parts are nevertheless still hold, either separately or in paired arrangements. First, believable stories are still told, but without an equally believable future outcome to facilitate. Second, in the shape of what I call the prospect of unprecedented change, there still is a feasible vision of a future (in prospects of technology and the Anthropocene), but it defies story form. And third, it is even possible to upon that feasible future, but such action aims at avoiding worst case scenarios instead of facilitating best outcomes. These are, I believe, features of an emerging postwar historical sensibility that the theory and philosophy of history is yet to understand.
Keywords unprecedented change  anthropogenic existential risk  humanity  acting upon a story  historical sensibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.Nick Bostrom (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
The Post-Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge.J. F. Lyotard - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:520.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Limits of Anthropocene Narratives.Zoltán Boldizsár Simon - 2020 - European Journal of Social Theory 23 (2):184-199.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Narrative and the Stability of Intention.Edward Hinchman - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):111-140.
Story and Story-World.Amos N. Wilder - 1983 - Interpretation 37 (4):353-364.
Story Identity and Story Type.Aaron Smuts - 2009 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (1):5-14.
Phaedrus and Folklore: An Old Problem Restated.T. C. W. Stinton - 1979 - Classical Quarterly 29 (02):432-.
On the Historical Understanding.C. J. Arthur - 1968 - History and Theory 7 (2):203-216.
"wei Sheng" Story Analysis.Wilbur Chen - 2008 - Chinese Journal of Chinese Culture University 17:123-136.
The Relationship of Chinese Modem Short Stories and the Historical Classical Works.Li-li Liu & Zhi-hua Chen - 2007 - Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 5:110-117.
From Be-Usurped to Be-Re-Owned: Towards a Narrative Construction the Otherness.Moisés del Pino Peña - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 26:37-42.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-03-05

Total views
250 ( #33,763 of 2,403,884 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
63 ( #11,649 of 2,403,884 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes