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Essays in Philosophy

Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2006
The Philosophy of History

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Displaying: 1-14 of 14 documents


editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Karim Dharamsi Introduction to Vol. 7, No. 2
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essays
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Carlos Leone Rescuing Hempel From His World
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This paper makes the case for the relevance of C. G. Hempel’s 1942 proposal of the usage of «covering laws» in History. To do so, it argues that such a proposal reflects how 18 and 19th centuries «philosophy of History» became methods or epistemology of History. This carried a change in meaning of «History»: no longer a succession of past events but the study of documented human action (including of scientific kind in general), its distinction vis-à-vis philosophy, sociology etc., becomes a minor matter as far as logic of research is concerned. Also present in this paper is the conception of theory as a conceptual mode of narrative, and the defense of a development of theories alongside their practice, not apart from them. Authors considered besides Hempel range from Max Weber to Sigmund Freud, from Arthur C. Danto to Albert O. Hirschmann.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nikolay Milkov Mesocosmological Descriptions: An Essay in the Extensional Ontology of History
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The following paper advances a new argument for the thesis that scientific and historical knowledge are not different in type. This argument makes use of a formal ontology of history which dispenses with generality, laws and causality. It views the past social world as composed of Wittgenstein’s Tractarian objects: of events, ordered in ontological dependencies. Theories in history advance models of past reality which connect—in experiment—faces of past events in complexes. The events themselves are multi-grained so that we can connect together different faces of theirs without counterfeiting history. This means that, on the basis of the same set of facts, historians can produce different models of past events, in which different dependences are brought forth. A conception of this kind substantiates an objectivist account of the recurrent falsifications of the theories in history.
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Nick Redfern Realism, Radical Constructivism, and Film History
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As a technology and an art form perceived to be capable of reproducing the world, it has long been thought that the cinema has a natural affinity with reality. In this essay I consider the Realist theory of film history out forward by Robert C. Allen and Douglas Gomery from the perspective of Radical Constructivism. I argue that such a Realist theory cannot provide us with a viable approach to film history as it presents a flawed description of the historian’s relationship to the past. Radical Constructivism offers an alternative model, which requires historians to rethink the nature of facts, the processes involved in constructing historical knowledge, and its relation to the past. Historical poetics, in the light of Radical Constructivism, is a basic model of research into cinema that uses concepts to construct theoretical statements in order to explain the nature, development, and effects of cinematic phenomena.
5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Constantine Sandis The Explanation of Action in History
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6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Anders Schinkel The Object of History
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The phrase ‘the object of history’ may mean all sorts of things. In this article, a distinction is made between object1, the object of study for historians, and object2, the goal or purpose of the study of history. Within object2, a distinction is made between a goal intrinsic to the study of history (object2in) and an extrinsic goal (object2ex), the latter being what the study of history should contribute to society (or anything else outside itself). The main point of the article, which is illustrated by a discussion of the work of R. G. Collingwood, E. H. Carr, and G. R. Elton, is that in the work of historians and philosophers of history, these kinds of ‘object of history’ are usually (closely) connected. If they are not, something is wrong. That does not mean, however, that historians or even philosophers of history are always aware of these connections. For that reason, the distinctions made in this article provide a useful analytical tool for historians and theorists of history alike.
book reviews
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Charles E. M. Dunlop Review of Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness, by Daniel C. Dennett
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8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Benjamin A. Gorman Review of The Mechanical Mind: A Philosophical Introduction to Minds, Machines, and Mental Representation, 2nd edition, by Tim Crane
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9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Thomas Keith Review of Pragmatism, Postmodernism, and the Future of Philosophy, by John J. Stuhr
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10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Aaron Ogletree Review of Latin American Philosophy for the 21st Century: The Human Condition, Values, and the Search for Identity, ed. Jorge J. E. Gracia and Elizabeth Millán-Zaibert
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11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Aaron Ogletree Review of A Companion to African-American Philosophy, ed. Tommy L. Lott and John P. Pittman
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12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Eric M. Rovie Review of Ethics Without Ontology, by Hilary Putnam
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13. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
H. Benjamin Shaeffer Review of Welfare and Rational Care, by Stephen Darwall
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14. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Brian Gregor Review of Between Kant and Hegel: Lectures on German Idealism, by Dieter Henrich, ed. David S. Pacini
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