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A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography by Aviezer Tucker

By Aviezer Tucker

The fifty entries during this Companion hide the most concerns within the philosophies of historiography and background, together with traditional heritage and the practices of historians.• Written through a world and multi-disciplinary team of experts• A state of the art up-to-date photograph of present study within the field• a part of the well known Blackwell Companions sequence

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Extra info for A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy)

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We then interpret a selection of historical traces (constructivism, anti-realism). In this case, the historian performs as a creature conditioned by his language, culture, epoch, and personal history. On the other hand, the opposite cluster of attitudes claims that only certain parts of the past comprise the object of history (what is not progressive is not an object of history, as Schelling observes; history assumes historicity (Geschichtlichkeit) and becomes an object of phenomenology). History, which is independent of us, resides in the past as an ore lies hidden in a rock.

Let us take France as an example. Jean Bodin connected legal and political theory, considered geographical and climatic conditions, speculated about the nature of man, and had an idea of progress; without knowing it, he vicariously repeated the pattern of thought of Ibn Khaldun. Later, both Pasquier and de la Popelinière actively participated in the public life and were educated in law. They used rhetoric as a model for historical argumentation, and – even if largely by assertion – had the merit of enlarging the object of history (histoire parfaite, integra) and postulating a world history.

And of course, the text must be meaningful to us if it is to function as evidence. It must bear information of something of interest, otherwise it is just a useless (meaningless) observation. This requirement of meaning is as important in science as it is in historiography. A fuzzy, curved streak in a particle detector means that an electrically charged particle has passed through. Without the theoretical wherewithal to interpret the datum as a charged particle, it’s just an insignificant fuzzy streak.

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