Metafysica AlS een historische discipline: De actualiteit Van R.g. Collingwoods „hervormde metafysica”

Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 54 (1):42 - 69 (1992)

Both in An Autobiography and in An Essay on Metaphysics R.G. Collingwood defines the study of metaphysics as primarily at any time an attempt to discover the absolute presuppositions of thinking and secondarily as an attempt to discover the corresponding absolute presuppositions of other peoples and other times, and to follow the historical process by which one set of presuppositions has turned into another. In addition, he states that the distinction between what is true and what is false does not apply to them. The objection often raised against this definition is that it has nothing to do with metaphysics in the traditional sense and that it only refers to a history of ideas. In this article I try to show the link between Collingwood's apparently idiosyncratic definition of metaphysics and the traditional one. I, therefore, have to sketch the background against which Collingwood's concept of metaphysics and the peculiar terminology he makes use of must be interpreted. This reconstruction of the original background is necessary in order to make clear what Collingwood means by his project of a „reformed metaphysics" as a historical inquiry into the absolute presuppositions of human thinking about reality
Keywords Collingwood, R. G   Metaphysics   History
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