Category: Theory of History Polyphonic (All languages)

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Practical Wisdom. Or What Can and Should Philosophy of History Achieve?

Chiel van den Akker – There is much that philosophy of history can achieve. The books, articles, companions, lectures, and blog posts on the philosophy of history testify to that. Here I confine myself to discussing but one example – not a recent one – of what philosophy of history can and should achieve.

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Why is there no “Progress” in Philosophy of History?

Frank Ankersmit – Let me begin this blog post with a little anecdote. In 1994 Hans Kellner and I conceived of the plan to publish a collection of essays on the state of philosophy of history at that time. We dressed up a list of philosophers of history we might invite to contribute to the collection. We asked these potential contributors whether they would be willing to write an essay on existing philosophy of history from their own point of view and, next, what expectations they had for its future development. We hoped, of course, that the then most influential philosophers would graciously accept our invitation. So Arthur Danto was at the top of our list: after all, what book has been more influential than Arthur Danto’s Analytical Philosophy of History of 1965 – with the possible exception of Hayden White’s notorious Metahistory of 1973?

Outlines of a critical theory of history

Christophe Bouton – Philosophical research on history as it is developing today in France does not pursue the ambition that characterized the philosophies of history of Hegel or Auguste Comte, namely delivering the sense and finality of “the history of humanity”. This way of thinking about history continued to recede throughout the twentieth century, and has been criticized by both philosophers (such as François Lyotard, who pointed to the end of “great narratives”) and historians (for example Paul Veyne and Roger Chartier). Like many others I prefer the expression “theory of history”, in order to establish distance from the tradition of teleological philosophies of history. What positive content can be attributed to it?
Article en Français Post in English

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Esquisse d’une théorie critique de l’histoire

Christophe Bouton – Telle que se développe aujourd’hui en France, la recherche philosophique sur l’histoire n’entend nullement renouer avec l’ambition qui caractérisait les philosophies de l’histoire de Hegel ou d’Auguste Comte, celle de délivrer le sens et la finalité de « l’histoire de l’humanité ». Cette manière de penser l’histoire n’a cessé de reculer tout au long du XXe siècle, elle a été critiquée tant par les philosophes (tel François Lyotard, qui a pointé la fin des « grands récits »), que par les historiens (par exemple Paul Veyne et Roger Chartier). C’est pour marquer la distance avec la tradition des philosophies téléologiques de l’histoire que je préfère, comme beaucoup, l’expression « théorie de l’histoire ». Quel contenu positif lui attribuer ?
Article en Français Post in English

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Theory of history as a reflexive endeavor. Tracing the “beginning”

Marcus Wystub – An unfinished workpiece; it is being face-milled; the machining process begins. Further machining of the unfinished workpiece would be impossible without a plan surface. Finally, it needs a measuring reference. A beginning has been made here in the working. What would a ‘beginning’ in historical-theoretical activity look like? Where does working on theory of history begin?
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English

Geschichtstheorie als reflexive Tätigkeit. Die Suche nach einem ‚Anfang‘

Marcus Wystub – Ein unfertiges Werkstück; Es wird plangefräst; Der Zerspanungsprozess nimmt seinen Anfang: Ohne eine Planfläche ist die weitere Bearbeitung des unfertigen Werkstücks nicht möglich. Zum Messen braucht es schließlich eine Referenz. Hier wird ein Anfang im Werken vollzogen. Was kann ein ‚Anfang‘ in geschichtstheoretischer Tätigkeit sein? Wo beginnt das Werken an Geschichtstheorie?
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English

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Theorizing History or How to Rethink Theory of History through Questions

Lisa Regazzoni – In his artwork Collage ou lʼâge de la colle (Collage or the Age of Paste), Man Ray confronts us with the question of when historical ages and thus caesurae are marked and along what criteria. What if paste were to be raised to a category of historical time structuring analogous to the stone, iron or bronze age? After all, its technical relevance is immense, and not only for members of the avant-garde in the arts. Is Man Ray doing “Theory of history” in his artwork?
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English

Geschichte theorisieren oder Geschichtstheorie in Frage(n) stellen

Lisa Regazzoni – Mit seinem Kunstwerk „Collage ou lʼâge de la colle“ (Collage oder das Zeitalter des Klebstoffs) stellt uns Man Ray vor die Frage, ab wann und anhand welcher Kriterien historische Zeitalter und damit auch Zäsuren markiert werden. Könnte analog etwa zum Stein-, Eisen- oder Bronzezeitalter nicht auch der Klebstoff, der eine große technische Relevanz besitzt, und das nicht nur für die Kunstavantgarden, zur Kategorie historischer Zeitstrukturierung erhoben werden? Macht Man Ray mit seinem Kunstwerk „Geschichtstheorie“?
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English

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