Lucila Svampa – We know Koselleck’s work primarily for its strong legacy in conceptual history and for his theory of historical times. However, a few years ago, research on his contributions to understanding memory began to gain impetus. What were his main contributions in this field, and why were they so controversial? This short article looks to better situate his understanding of memory, drawing attention to his peculiar use of lava as a metaphor.
Jan Ifversen – Darkness constitutes a paradigm opposed to enlightenment. While conceptual history is an approach suited to understand progressive semantic mastery, Reinhart Koselleck – although hesitatingly and implicitly – also developed an approach suited to situations where concepts are beyond reach and leave everyone groping in the dark. This entry traces Koselleck’s theory of the incomprehensible.
Tullio Viola – Charles S. Peirce is primarily read and discussed today for his contribution to logic and semiotics, and as a key figure in pragmatist philosophy. Much less known is his interest in history, both as a scientific discipline to be cultivated alongside philosophy and as fertile ground for philosophical reflection.
Sean Franzel – Like Martin Heidegger and his students Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl Löwith, Koselleck developed his thought in dialogue with the language of German idealist and existential philosophy, an idiom that has often proved challenging for translators into other languages.
Disha Karnad Jani – In our re-examination of Koselleck’s work on his centennial, I ask what happens when we turn one of his characteristics for modern concepts – the “simultaneity of the non-simultaneous” – on its head. Why, I ask, did his work on the modern concept of revolution and the revolutions of the 1950s-70s appear to him as inassimilable?
Sean Franzel – Though the term seriality is not a central element of Koselleck’s critical vocabulary, his work is very much attuned to how patterns of repetition and variation—defining features of serial forms—shape experiences of historical events, organize language use, and inform how historical sources are produced and evaluated.
‘The Report of My Death Was an Exaggeration’: Metanarrative, Legitimacy, and History (with apologies to Mark Twain)
Luke O’Sullivan – In The Postmodern Condition Jean-François Lyotard defined a metanarrative as a vision of the historical process that served some legitimatory role. A metanarrative did not need to make claims regarding historical necessity, but it must function as a justification of a political position of some kind. Subsequent developments suggest that while his definition was sound, his prediction that metanarratives were in decline was falsified by events.