Volumes 1-5: Abstracts

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JOSEPH AGASSI, Towards an Historiography of Science, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), Bei. 2, 1-117

Bacon's inductivist philosophy of science divides thinkers into the scientific and the prejudiced, using as a standard the up-to-date science textbook. Inductivists regard the history of science as progressing smoothly, from facts rather than from problems, to increasingly general theories, undisturbed by contending scientific schools. Conventionalists regard theories as pigeonholes for classifying facts; history of science is the development of increasingly simple theories, neither true nor false. Conventionalism is useless for reconstructing and weighing conflicts between schools, and overemphasizes science's internal organic growth. For Popper, not for inductivists or conventionalists, the successful criticism of theories is the heart of science. Popper's view admits the existence of valuable errors and enables us to avoid being wise after the event, thereby improving our understanding of the history of science through reconstructions of the actual interplay of theories and facts.

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OTHMAR F. ANDERLE, A Plea for Theoretical History, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 27-56

Everywhere--even in Germany-the great specialization of historical research and its philosophical rationale, historicism or the cult of the particular, are bankrupt. A synoptic picture of the historical world is no less necessary than one of the natural world. To obtain it we must abandon the false dichotomy between nature and history; idiographic and nomothetic methods are applicable to both. Theories of history will not compromise man's free will. Historical theory might, like economic theory, identify structural elements in human relationships as well as non-historical factors which influence them.

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RAYMOND ARON, Thucydide et le récit des événements, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 103-128

International problems are not reducible to economic and social conjuncture. Thucydides therefore focuses on events, particular human acts performed freely-chosen, and thus themselves irreducible to junctures of forces. No twentieth-century Thucydides could exist; no intelligible account of the wars of the present century could omit references to actors, but they would not be of central interpretative importance. Modern events are disindividualized, modern collective decisions numerous and complex. Thucydides nevertheless remains significant today to those unwilling to view events divorced from the action of individuals. As an historian Thucydides experienced a feeling of destiny looking back upon free actions, but still held that they alone merit attention.

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SAMUEL H. BEER, Causal Explanation and Imaginative Re-enactment, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 6-29

The Hempel-Popper dictum that causal explanations require hypotheses cast in universal form encourages bad generalizations. Generalizations relative to a context are more fruitful for the social scientist (even physical "laws" may be relative to such contexts as an expanding universe). Causal explanation is complementary, not opposed, to explanations by imaginative re-enactment. Rational explanation, one type of imaginative re-enactment, often involves causal explanation, in showing chosen means to be appropriate for a given end; and causal explanation usually involves imaginative re-enactment in establishing the meaning that actions have for agents.

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LEE BENSON, CUSHING STROUT, Causation and the American Civil War: Two Appraisals, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 163-185

Benson: Certain logical principles govern explanations of human behavior: alleged causes must actually occur before their effects; men must be aware of events that allegedly affect them; explanations must jibe with generalizations about behavior and have intrinsic plausibility. Historians often neglect these principles. The best example is analysis of public opinion. Comparison of Thucydides with the historiography of the American Civil War shows both must assess public feeling on specific issues at a given time and place; but historians lack the tools to do this, and have recourse to dubious assumptions (such as that writers are the best reflection of public opinion). Sometimes even the principle of chronological priority is violated. Consistent application of the four logical principles above would at least narrow the range of potentially verifiable explanations and consequent disagreement.

Strout: Specification of a "fundamental cause" of the Civil War or other events is best construed as a retrospective observation that the cited 16cause" figures centrally in some reconstructed story. Historians explain through stories, narrations, which aim at comprehending the dramatic "logic" of a sequence of events rather than at scientific explanation. At worst general questions of causality are an irrelevant source of interminable disagreement, at best a stimulus to research, potentially resulting in a more coherent story and increased understanding. Causal accounts seem indispensable largely because explanations often involve purposes and reasons in causal disguise.

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PETER BERGER and STANLEY PULLBERG, Reification and the Sociological Critique of Consciousness, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 196-211

Society is a dialectical process: men produce society, which in turn produces them. Certain Marxist categories are especially useful for the sociology of knowledge, dealing with the relation between consciousness and society. Social structure is nothing but the result of human enterprise. Alienation-rupture between producer and product-leads to a false consciousness in neglecting the productive process. Reification, historically recurrent though not anthropologically necessary, while bestowing ontological status on social roles and institutions only sees society as producing men. Certain social conditions encourage de-reification. Philosophy and sociology, superstructures rooted in intersubjectivity, must co-operate in pursuing the sociology of knowledge.

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ISAIAH BERLIN, History and Theory: The Concept of Scientific History, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 1-31

History details the differences among events, whereas the sciences focus on similarities. History lacks the sciences' ideal models, whose usefulness varies inversely with the number of characteristics to which they apply. As an external observer the scientist willingly distorts the individual to make it an instance of the general, but the historian, himself an actor, renounces interest in the general in order to understand the past through the projection of his own experience upon it. It is the scientist's business to fit the facts to the theory, the historian's responsibility to place his confidence in facts over theories.

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WILLIAM J. BOUWSMA, Three Types of Historiography in Post-Renaissance Italy, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 303-314

Especially after 1530, Italy was so fragmented that a national historiography was impossible. Florence, Rome, and Venice were the chief regional centers. In Florence, the utility of history for the statesman was increasingly denied. Historians lacked self-confidence, and the republican tradition faded out in the excessive empiricism of Ammirato. In Rome, the Counter-Reformation rejected the historiographical achievements of the Renaissance; historians were deflected from research into rhetoric and justification of the Church replaced disinterested inquiry. Only in Venice, formerly backward, did historiography thrive, perhaps in response to Venice's declining power. Venetian historiography was enriched by theories emanating from Padua and by close contact with political reality. Only Venice could have produced Sarpi.

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JOHN BROOKE, Namier and Namierism, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 331-347

Namier's contribution to historiography, the techniques used in studying the lives of all members of parliament, can be compared to Galileo's use of the telescope. As the astronomer with more powerful instruments resolves such "constellations" as Andromeda, so the historical research team dissolves such specious classes as eighteenth-century "parties." For Namier, depth psychology, too, was essential to history as to all social sciences. At some point the historian must yield to the psychologist and sociologist; but some questions can be settled only by faith. Thus Namier's work (as he recognized) depreciates the value of history.

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PETER BURKE, A Survey of the Popularity of Ancient Historians, 1450-1700, History and Theory 5 (1966), 135-152

Analysis of editions of classical historians-both in original and vernacular languages-as given in F.L.A. Schweiger's Handbuch der classischen Bibliographie, indicates variations in taste for models of historical writing. Many more Roman than Greek historians were reprinted: Sallust was the most popular author, but almost all the Romans were reprinted more often than any of the Greeks. National preferences (e.g., for Tacitus's Germania in Germany) can be seen in statistics of vernacular editions arranged by place of publication. Scholarly readers (using editions in original languages) show a different pattern of preference. Introductions to editions often reveal the social groups to whom the book is expected to appeal, and show qualities particularly admired (e.g., Polybius for historical explanation).

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ARTHUR LEE BURNS, International Theory and Historical Explanation, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 55-74

The historian of international affairs deals with sub-system dominant relations where the behavior of a single sub-system (nation) may significantly affect that of the system. For such a system, explanations of unplanned, gross events which utilize alleged theoretical laws are gratuitous; when a detailed reconstruction of the roles played by individual agents is sought, the deductive model of Popper and Hempel itself provides only an "explanation sketch." A general theory of international affairs, dealing exhaustively with every possible type of systematic relationship between sovereign nations, would nevertheless be valuable in establishing the a priori plausibility of certain events.

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RICHARD L. BUSHMAN, On the Uses of Psychology: Conflict and Conciliation in Benjamin Franklin, History and Theory 5 (1966), 227-240

The difficulties of applying psychology to historiography are considerable, and historians have been reluctant to make the effort. Psychologists seem to work with scanty and dubious evidence and often merely provide new names for familiar facts. Psychology cannot provide a reference point from which men's personalities are automatically diagnosed, but it can enhance the historian's sensitivity to patterns of character. As an extended case study, Franklin's Autobiography exhibits patterns of concern for getting supplies (of food, affection, etc.), fear of being hurt in seeking them, and success in devising methods of getting supplies while withdrawing from hostilities-patterns seen in his vegetarianism, business, and diplomacy.

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WILLIAM N. CHAMBERS, Party Development and Party Action: The American Origins, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 91-120

Study of party origins has been confused by failure to discriminate between transitory alliances and more durable political formations: i.e., betwftn parties, interest groups, bodies of opinion, and factions. The emergence of the Federalist party out of the Hamiltonian faction was achieved by extensive cultivation of personal associations by the leaders, standardizing political activities and tactics, appealing to public opinion, and developing a partisan ideology. A durable relationship between leaders and followers, allowing co-ordinated activity; standardized political procedures; an ideology; and a comparatively stable combination of interests to which to appeal may be taken as characteristic of parties. The absence of a feudal past in America explains why parties, thus conceived, first arose there.

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JOANNIS CRAIG, Craig's Rules of Historical Evidence [1699], History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), Bei. 4, 1-31 [Classics in the Philosophy of History Series.]

Several chapters from John Craig's Theologiae Christianae Principia Mathematica, a book purporting to validate scientifically certain Christian truths against agnostics, reprinted and translated for the first time.

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ARTHUR C. DANTO, Narrative Sentences, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 146-179

Intelligible substitutions in "the history of x" designate temporal structures. Narrative sentences describe some event E-1 in terms of a later E-2 thereby locating both events in some x. Events located in some x of interest are historically significant. Recognizing a present event's historical significance requires predicting both future events and future historians' interests. "The future is hidden" means: historians lack the sorts of laws astronomers have. "The future is open" means: we are ignorant of future historians' statements about us-otherwise we could falsify their sentences just as we can, if we wish, falsify past predictions about our actions.

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VERNON K. DIBBLE, Four Types of Inference from Documents to Events, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 203-219

Documentary evidence can be testimony, to which probabilistic socialscientific laws (rather than some sixth sense) are applied to infer events; social bookkeeping, documents produced by groups and organizations, for which a few general inferential principles are statable; correlates, by virtue of specific historical knowledge, or perhaps eventually based upon general rules for correlating documents with events; or direct indicators, documents which are themselves the objects of investigation. Testimony and social bookkeeping differ in source and technique, correlates and direct indicators in technique alone. Curiously, almost all manuals of historiography assume that the historian need only know how to evaluate testimony; in fact the methods of all four inferential procedures must be mastered.

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ALAN DONAGAN, Historical Explanation: The Popper-Hempel Theory Reconsidered, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 3-26

Causal explanations of events must be deductive (Hempel's inductiveprobabilistic explanations are not causal, as they do not explain why an event occurred rather than not) but need not employ universal or covering laws. Historians have scientifically established deductive causal explanations employing hypotheticals containing individual names. Scientists' causal explanations utilize singular hypotheticals only as special cases of universal hypotheticals. Historians, however, are willing to entertain the possibility that men of the same type may act differently in the same situation. The social sciences, which are not theoretical but fundamentally identical with history, have not provided a single law for historians' use.

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WILLIAM DRAY, Toynbee's Search for Historical Laws, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 32-54

Toynbee was not a faultless practitioner of his empirical methodology, but his concepts of evidence, verification, and law are adequate in principle. Toynbee's affirmation of a tough-minded metaphysical doctrine of free will, however, has the result that all "evidence" for historical laws is only presumptive and that no laws can ever be established. Since the doctrine may be treated as an excresence upon Toynbee's theory of history, the indeterminist and antinomian should ignore or reformulate it in assessing Toynbee's conclusions.

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HARRY ECKSTEIN, On the Etiology of Internal Wars, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 133-163

"Internal war" is a resort to violence within a political order to change its constitution, rulers, or politicies; it is the genus of which revolution, uprising, Jacquerie, etc., are the species. The historical literature on the causes of internal wars is chaotic because historians have simply produced facts about any aspect of pre-revolutionary society which intuitively seemed significant. The real significance of these facts can only emerge from broader comparative studies. Such studies should be focussed on the preconditions of internal war rather than the (inevitably unique) precipitants and on changes in the elite holding power. Obstacles to internal wars must also be considered. Only a theory comprehending both positive and negative forces will prevent piling up of unrelated ad hoc theories and unhistorical disregard for special forces in particular cases.

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ELIZABETH L. EISENSTEIN, Cho and Chronos: Some Aspects of History-Book Time, History and Theory 5 (1966), Bei. 6, 36-64

Uncertainties about the relation of the present to the past reflect our inability to order coherently the accelerating accumulation of information about the past within a conception of temporal development which originated with the permanence of printed books and records. The orally transmitted memory of events was achronic; succeeding scribal culture, aware of the decay and loss of manuscripts, correspondingly believed in historical decline and in catastrophic and cyclical theories of historical change. The appearance of printed books and records gave rise to uniform time scales, transformed the sense of temporal location, fostered belief in the straight-line direction of history leading to the revolution of the "Present," but also has concealed from historians the extent to which their conceptions and problems reflect a cumulative print-made culture.

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KLAUS EPSTEIN, Stein in German Historiography, History and Theory 5 (1966), 241-274

Stein's career, though relatively devoid of popular appeal, has been the subject of much historical writing which shows the changing preoccupations of German historians, but which also shows some progress in understanding. Claims that Stein's personality was unproblematical, that he drew his main inspiration from the French Revolution, or that all was well with Prussia in 1806-once made by distinguished historiansare now discredited. Stein's weakness in foreign affairs and the archaism of his outlook are generally recognized. Ritter's biography, one of the greatest in the German language, will probably stand, with room for monographs on neglected details.

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M. I. FINLEY, Myth, Memory, and History, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 281-302

Aristotle and other Greeks contrasted history and poetry because epic poetry or myth was an alternate way of apprehending the past. Myth was accepted as no less factual than history, being distinguished by its lack of any coherent dating scheme. Even Herodotus and Thucydides could not write a true history of early Greece; they were necessarily confined to contemporary history. The problem is not why Greek culture was "unhistorical," but rather why anyone should have proceeded from myth to history. Their traditional mythic understanding of the past, operating similarly to patterns of memory observable in other cultures, preserved relevant information (i.e., that benefiting powerful elites) at the cost of massive loss of data, which appears to survive only in random fashion.

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W. B. GALLIE, The Historical Understanding, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 149-202

The exercise of the capacity to follow stories, sequences of acceptable though not predictable incidents making for a promised though always open conclusion, constitutes historical understanding. Followable accounts of particular actions of individual men (the historian's main concern) must invoke institutional facts about societal life. The historian's task is not deductively to explain away all apparent contingencies, which can be understood through their contributions to acceptable outcomes and are crucial to historical narratives. The scholar's reasoned emendation of a defective text, not scientific explanation, is the best model for historical explanations., which interrupt narrations to aid our story-following capacity when vision is blurred or credulity taxed.

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JEAN GAULMIER, Volney et ses Leçons d'Histoire [Classics in the Philosophy of History Series], History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 52-65

Volney, one of the Idéologues and confidant of Jefferson and Napoleon, published his Lessons of History in 1795 as Professor of History in the newly-founded Ecole Normale. Volney anticipates Comte in his comparison of science with history, rigorous standards for validation of historical facts, and sketch of the history of human development. His emphasis on scrupulous analysis before synthesis is attempted shows that the Idéologues were not so prone to fanciful and grotesque analogies as is often believed. Nor does his skepticism really reduce history to a "conjectural science." There is much learning, drawn from his travels and political life, as well as remarkably advanced and original theory in the Lessons of History.

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GIOVANNI GENTILE, Eighteenth-Century Historical Methodology: De Soria's Institutiones, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 315-327 [Classics in the Philosophy of History Series]

De Soria (1707-1767) read Le Clerc's Logica (1692) and Ars Critica (1696) before writing his Institutes of Rational Philosophy, which reduces methodology to analytics, discovery of truth, rather than synthetics, demonstration of discovered truth. De Soria, unlike Le Clerc, opposes syllogistic and the old logical systems. Reason, experience, and evidence from others (testimony) supply answers for soluble questions. Twenty of De Soria's thirty laws of analytics concern testimony or historical research, divide into theories of sources and internal criticism, and have no counterpart in the Logica. De Soria's canons distinguishing authentic from spurious writings derive directly from Ars Critica, which he acknowledges.

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PIETER GEYL, Huizinga as Accuser of His Age, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 231-262

Huizinga never resolved his incompatible inclinations to view history as serious, scholarly, rational, intellectual and as playful, imaginative, aesthetic, and contemplative. The social aspects of the extra-scientific approach, which saw culture as an activity of the elite serving the noble and beautiful, account for Huizinga's aversion to the modern democratization of society in the larger role played by the masses, and in turn for his methodological errors: idealizing the past and treating the West, both non-totalitarian and totalitarian, as a single culture. Huizinga, blind to the economic and political realities from which he divorced culture, demanded renewed spiritual values rather than socio-political reform.

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GERALD J. GRUMAN, "Balance" and "Excess" as Gibbon's Explanation of the Decline and Fall, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 75-85

Gibbon's explanation of the decline and fall consists in his applying to political phenomena the concepts of "balance" and "excess" which preoccupied the Whig aristocrat. For example, at its best foreign policy preserves the balance of power among nations. Excessive Roman domination led to cultural uniformity and mediocrity, which invited the barbarians. Scholars minimize the presence of a consistent causal explanation in Gibbon's work largely because of Gibbon's own inconsistencies in dating the beginning of the decline, and because Gibbon's account begins with the later Antonine period, whereas the excesses causing the decline and fall occurred in the late Republic.

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BEN HALPERN, "Myth" and "Ideology" in Modem Usage, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 129-149

Popular and technical usages yield unequivocal definitions of "myth"' and "ideology," terms which imply distinct meanings of "history" as both accumulated symbolic product and dynamic symbolic production. "Culture," the historical symbolic realm, is analyzable objectively as accumulation in terms of art, law, etc., or subjectively as dynamic process through mythology and ideology-the former dealing with beliefs originating in historical experience, value integration, and establishment of consensus, the latter with beliefs originating in competitive social situations and their communication and segregation. Irrational mythologies spark historical dynamism, rational ideologies extend it. Sorel, Mannheim, and other writers here examined use these distinctions systematically in historical interpretation.

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GEORGE HUPPERT, The Renaissance Background of Historicism, History and Theory 5 (1966), 48-60

Meinecke and Hazard were wrong to suppose that the historical-mindedness, peculiar to our culture was almost entirely a development from eighteenth-century thought. La Popelinière, writing in 1599, already stated that historiography should describe "what actually happened," but also recognized the inevitable subjectivity of historians. His contemporaries Vignier and Pasquier rejected rhetoric in favor of research. Unhampered by the classicizing of the Italians, these French historians found in the idea of the nation a new perspective from which to judge the past. Freeing themselves from the chronology of the "four empires," they found-as would their nineteenth-century successors-that national history led to universal history.

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GEORG G. IGGERS, The Image of Ranke in American and German Historical Thought, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 17-40

in America, Ranke has been known for his methodology: critical examination of sources in order to establish the facts. Ranke's We es eigentlich gewesen was the motto of "scientific" history renouncing all generalizations and philosophy for detailed description. In Germany, Ranke was considered anti-aprioristic, opposed to any schematization of history, but not anti-philosophical. Ranke, influenced by German idealism, sought to transcend mere factual reconstruction by proceeding from con templating particulars to understanding general truths and introspective apprehension of - living reality. Despite the work of refugee scholars, Americans are only slowly discovering Ranke's philosophical assumptions.

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JAMES WILLIAM JOHNSON, Chronological Writing: Its Concepts and Development, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 124-145

Chronology, unlike history, is not confined to human experiences, disregards causes in the human sphere, and emphasizes the occurrence rather than the sense of an event. For the Jews chronology was tribal records, for the Church fathefs (and later for Protestants) a theological weapon, for the Byzantines a framework within which the Western Empire's sociopolitical dogmas were challenged. During the seventeenth century the very popularity and proliferation of chronologies began to bring them into disrepute. Historical studies nevertheless drew on chronological themes and concepts (e.g., history and ethnology assimilated racial genealogies). A coherent dating scheme, collections of primary sources, and critical techniques constitute chronology's little-acknowledged legacy to historiography.

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CAREY.B. JOYNT and NICHOLAS RESCHER, The Problem of Uniqueness in History, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 150-162

Every individual event, qua individual, is unique. THought renders events non-unique through classification and generalization. Historical explanation demands understanding causal connections, in turn requiring the use of generalizations. History is a consumer of established laws which introduce a locus of non-uniqueness into history. Also, history is a producer of limited generalizations, covering temporally confined structual patterns which constitute the locus of uniqueness in history. It is the temporal limitation of these patterns, and not the chronological description of facts, which gives history its character of uniqueness.

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EUGENE KAMENKA, Marxism and the History of Philosophy, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), Bei. 5, 83-104

The materialist interpretation of history dogmatically resolves all histories into one. Marx and Engels themselves thought philosophy progresses toward the ultimate truth of Marxism, and implicitly held all historical positions interesting since their development reveals contradictions generated by inadequacies. Bolshevik Marxism's official ideology does not include philosophy's dissolution. Marxist definitions of philosophy emphasizing correct conclusions neglect distinctively philosophical argument and method. The recent Soviet view of philosophy's history has changed from the history of superstructure to the history of conflicting materialist and idealist theories, thereby conceding the centrality of philosophical ideas rather than trying to reduce them to class or economic interests.

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GABRIEL KOLKO, Max Weber on America: Theory and Evidence, History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 243-260

Weber's treatment of the Protestant Ethic in American colonial economic history is indefensible in terms of historical evidence; his ideal-typology of the causal importance of Calvinism in the development of Western capitalism generally is at best a useful fiction. Weber neither understood the economic demands of Puritan doctrine nor appreciated the disparity between ideology and economic reality. Weber's prerequisites for rational capitalism were not satisfied in the colonies, and his contrast between economic development in the North and non-Calvinist South is erroneous. Economic success in the colonies was determined far more by political and social connections than by special religious motivations.

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SIEGFRIED KRACAUER, Time and History, History and Theory 5 (1966), Bei. 6, 65-78

The conception of chronological time as a homogeneous medium comprising all events underlies the Western idea of history; but what George Kubler suggests in The Shapes of Time of art works is true of an events: they are better understood by their positions in specific sequences than by their dates in chronological time. General. histories deceptively attribute significance to the chronology of events in different areas; yet, as Burckhardt showed, in some periods the shapes of time in different areas do coalesce. An antinomy of time is revealed: chronological time is superseded by unrelated bundles of sequences, but at the same time retains significance in their confiuence. Attempts to solve this dialectical problem of time (Croce, Proust) have failed; the problem is insoluble before the end of time.

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JOHN LANGE, The Argument from Silence, History and Theory 5 (1966), 288-301

"If event E had occurred, someone would know of documentary evidence for E; someone does not know of documentary evidence (or a functional equivalent) for E; therefore, E did not occur." The conditional in this model of arguments from silence is probabalistic if its consequent is not deducible from the antecedent, relevant conditions, and laws. In interesting cases arguments from silence are rarely rationally, and never logically, conclusive. Specific instances of the argument must be evaluated individually, their persuasiveness depending mainly on the likelihood of documents being available in a given type of case.

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MARVIN LEVICH, Disagreement and Controversy in History, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 41-51

Most historical controversies are factual disagreements only in appearance, involving equivocations on some crucial term (e.g., "Renaissance"). These equivocations, however, are neither elimina le nor silly. Historical controversies do reflect genuine disagreements about the merits of different explanation-types: anticipatory (invoking properties resembling and preceding the explanandum), causal, or stylistic. Crucial terms, value-laden and intellectually prestigious, transfer status to explanatory events. Historians' explanation preferences perhaps depend upon their strategies for improving society: if through cultural changes, causal; altering institutions internally, anticipatory; emulating another period, stylistic. Historical controversies do not justify skepticism about the objective worth of historical propositions or inquiry.

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GEORGE LICHTHEIM, Sartre, Marxism, and History, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 222-246

Sartre in Critique de la raison dialectique, 1, aspires to change the world by carrying Marxism to completion; yet his Marxism is an unresolved synthesis of Marx, Hegel, and Heidegger. The short introductory section contains most of its novel and fruitful ideas, and can be treated as the key to the work. It rests on the dialectic of being and consciousness (found in Marx but not in Engels' "dialectical materialism") which Sartre applies to the problem of mediation, so as to take account of the particularity of persons and events (regularly ignored by Marxism). Detouring into anthropology, Sartre presents rivalry for perpetually scarce food as the fundamental element of human life and proposes a Hobbesian political philosophy. Though his perception of "structures" and grasp of unique historical moments are less convincing than his insight into psychology, he shows that if "historicism" is pushed to its limit, it becomes a self-conscious philosophy which must be taken seriously.

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GEORGE LICHTHEIM, The Concept of Ideology, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 164-195

Ambiguities in the concept of ideology may be clarified by a history of the word and the phenomenon. "Ideology" can mean both the consciousness of an epoch and the "false consciousness" of men unaware of their true historical position. It was coined in early nineteenth-century France for a "science of ideas," knowledge of which would assure harmonious social life (positivism inherits this view). For Hegel, ideology is the false consciousness necessarily arising from the partial and transitory nature of thought in its dialectical development. Marx, as a materialist, went further, holding all speculative thought to be ideological defense of the status quo; Nietzsche cynically reduced all thought to ideology. Weber, Lukfics, and Mannheim made a more creative critique. For Lukdcs, the solution of the problem of ideology lay in the consciousness of the proletariate, the "identical subject-object" of history; for Mannheim, in that of the intellectuals.

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HELEN P. LIEBEL, Philosophical Idealism in the Historische Zeitschrift, 1859-1914, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 316-330

Most articles on philosophy of history appearing in the Historische Zeitschrift prior to World War I were concerned with the principles and presuppositions of German idealism, as transmitted to professional historians by Humboldt's Ideenlehre and Ranke. The only serious challenge to this tradition came from Karl Lamprecht (considered for the editorship after von Sybel's death), but it was beaten off by the new editor, Meinecke. After World War I, insistence on the absolute uniqueness of the historian's subject-matter was replaced by growing realization that a middle ground existed between the unique event and the cosmic flow of universal history.

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WALTER D. LOVE, Edmund Burke and an Irish Historiographical Controversy, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 180-198

Burke encouraged others to write a competent history showing that misgovernment provoked the Irish wars, only to find himself dragged into a feud about ancient Irish history. The Orientals, supported by almost all the documentary evidence, thought the earliest settlers were Easterners carrying Phoenician and Egyptian culture; the Scandians, relying on analogies to Lockean psychology, thought barbarian Northern invaders populated Ireland, with civilization emerging only through slow growth. Burke's position-expressed only in private correspondence-characteristically avoided extremes: there were Eastern colonizers, but they did not transmit a civilization. Eighteenth-century historiography, in Ireland as elsewhere, was at low ebb, but the Orientals' comparisons between civilizations and collection of Irish manuscripts and the Scandian evolutionary theory were in the mainstream of future historiography.

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MAURICE MANDELBAUM, Historical Explanation: The Problem of "Covering Laws", History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 229-242

Laws through which we explain particular events need not be laws which describe uniform sequences of events; they may be laws stating uniform connections between two types of factor contained within a complex event. Hempel's apparent insistence that laws state the conditions invariably accompanying a type of complex event, that the event be an instance of the laws "covering" it, results from the Humean analysis in which causation obtains between types of events and "the cause" means necessary conditions. But historians often depict sufficient conditions. On the other hand, some knowledge of general laws is a presupposition of Dray's "continuous series" model of historical explanation.

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MAURICE MANDELBAUM, The History of Ideas, Intellectual History, and the History of Philosophy, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), Bei. 5, 33-66

The history of ideas deals with the elemental unit-ideas which for Lovejoy are components of systems distinguished by their patterns. Special histories explain how a particular form of human history developed. General histories draw on special histories to document or explain social contexts. Since patterns influence philosophers, the history of ideas contributes little to the history of philosophy, a discontinuous strand within a period's continuous intellectual history. By accepting cultural pluralism, denying the monistic position that there always are internal connections among all or some strands of intellectual and cultural history, both continuity and change in philosophy can be best understood.

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LOUIS O. MINK, The Autonomy of Historical Understanding, History and Theory 5 (1966), 24-47

On received philosophical doctrine, history is simply methodologically immature. History's autonomy can be established not by showing scientific explanations impossible for "history," but by coupling a demonstration that hypothetico-deductive explanation cannot exhaustively analyze historical knowledge with a critique of the proto-science view's assumption that legitimate modes of understanding must be analyzable by an explicit methodology. Certain views historians accept, e.g., that events are unique, while inadequate as a general theory of events, reveal historical understanding's distinctive feature: synoptic judgment, which, irreducible to analytic techniques, interprets a complex process as a function of component events, their interrelationships, importance, and context.

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A. D. MOMIGLIANO, Time in Ancient Historiography, History and Theory 5 (1966), Bei. 6, 1-23

The view widely accepted among theologians that Greeks and Hebrews held different conceptions of time is based upon the absence in Hebrew of a future tense and a specific word for time, and upon the claim that the Greeks conceived time as a cycle, the Hebrews as a line. None of these alleged evidences can survive examination. Moreover, whatever Greek philosophers thought about cyclical time, that view cannot be found in the historians. The real differences between Old Testament and Greek historiography lie in differing attitudes toward the continuity of events, kinds of evidence, the significance of remembering the past, and the relation of history and prophecy.

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A. D. MOMIGLIANO, Vico's Scienza Nuova: Roman "Bestioni" and Roman "Eroi", History and Theory 5 (1966), 3-23

Vico, though deriving emotional support from the revival of Catholic scholarship, was intellectually isolated. He addressed himself to problems posed by Protestant and Jewish scholars two generations earlier. His interpretation of history was one of the most serious and profound attempts to re-establish the distinction between sacred and profane history, at the cost--deemed excessive by his contemporaries--of investing Homer and the XII Tables with the same authority as the Bible as records of human origins. His parallel between the Homeric poems and the XII Tables is strained, and his usual talents for misreading and misquotation are much in evidence, but some of his intuitions (e.g., the "true Homer," the early Greek colony in Italy) showed brilliant insight.

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G. G. S. MURPHY, Sir Isaiah Berlin on the Concept of Scientific History: A Comment, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 234-243

Besides the positions that historical statements have psychologistic implications (Berlin) or are scientific only if explanatory procedure involving general statements is employed, another possibility exists. Written descriptive history can be rendered in truth-functional sentences. A system of language signs-predicate letters, constants, superscripts, subscripts, and two logical signs-is constructed for these sentences. This enables lexicographical ordering and hence machine-programming. Among the requirements of a descriptive history constituted of such sentences are that there be "quickly-decidable" sentences about individuals only and that statements involving belief, probability, or other modality be excluded. Examples of proper formulation are given, and the value of the rules and techniques of this extensional treatment of history-writing to actual history-writing is asserted.

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GEORGE H. NADEL, History as Psychology in Francis Bacon's Theory of History, History and Theory 5 (1966), 275-287

In assimilating the study of history to the study of natural science, Bacon emphasized the collection of historical facts and the need to induce general propositions from them. He indicated the psychological character of these propositions and claimed that historians were, and philosophers were not, competent to put moral and mental phenomena on a scientific basis. On the formal side, his theory of history was based on Aristotelian faculty psychology-history, the product of the mnemonic faculty, dealt with phenomena true to life. In intent, his theory was designed to reorient the study of moral philosophy away from rationalism toward an empirical or historical foundation and to emphasize involuntary as well as voluntary aspects of behavior.

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GEORGE H. NADEL, Philosophy of History before Historicism, History and Theory 3 (1964), 291-315

Philosophy of history before the nineteenth century was based on the classical theory of history. That theory, in justifying the purpose of historical studies, maintained that history was a storehouse of good and bad examples; was of particular use in educating statesmen, since it provided them with vicarious experience; and was a more compelling moral guide than the abstractions of philosophy. The unquestioned authority of Polybius and other ancient historians, as well as. of the definitions of history by Pseudo-Dionysius (as "philosophy teaching by ex amples") and Cicero (as "mistress of life"), perpetuated the exemplar theory. The rise of professional, academic historical study rendered it irrelevant; Bolingbroke was its last notable exponent.

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JACOB NEUSNER, The Religious Uses of History: Judaism in First-Century A.D. Palestine and Third-Century Babylonia, History and Theory 5 (1966), 153-171

The development of Talmudic Judaism from the first to the fifth century A.D. is marked by a decline of interest in the knowledge and explanation of historical events. Neither the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. nor the advent of the Sasanians in Babylonia in 226 A.D. provoked refiection on history among the Talmudic rabbis. In Jerusalem in the first century, Yohanan ben Zakkai stressed an interim ethic and policy for survival and redemption; Rav and Samuel, in third century Babylonia, converted messianic speculation and scriptural exegesis into a policy of passive acceptance of political events. But lack of interest in political history masked belief that the covenant of Sinai would win redemption not through the course of historical events but apart from it.

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JOHN PASSMORE, Explanation in Everyday Life, in Science, and in History, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 105-123

Explanations cannot be identified by logical form-explanations make use of forms of argument to remove puzzlement. Different criteria determine the satisfactoriness of different types of explanation (elucidations, justifications, etc.), and the severity of their application distinguishes scientific, historical, and everyday explanations. For example, good causal explanations are intelligible (invoke familiar connections), adequate (cite sufficient conditions), and correct (cite necessary conditions). Scientists, interested in prediction, seek strictly necessary and sufficient conditions. Historians, who already know the facts, can be more casual-their standards for explanations approximate everyday standards, where an intelligible explanation is usually assumed to be adequate, and in turn correct.

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JOHN PASSMORE, The Idea of a History of Philosophy, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), Bei. 5, 1-32

Polemical writings about philosophers, of little use if directed against straw men as is likely if not based on historical understanding, must incorporate cultural history, which, in focussing on a philosophy's relationship to its age, justifies ignoring historical sequence so long as figures are placed in context. Philosophy does progressively clarify what certain recurrent types of problems involve. The historian-philosopher writing a history of problems must know intimately philosopher and period, and reveal assumptions and aspects of problems hidden to the philosopher himself. Such a history does not merely report philosophy's results but alone elucidates its inner development.

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GERHARD RITTER, Scientific History, Contemporary History, and Political Science, History and Theory 1 (1961), 261-279

Current attempts to apply history to contemporary and future political problems are misguided. History is not a science permitting extrapolation from selected data and recurring similarities in the past. It is a science in the Rankean sense only-the objective and factual study of the unique, unlimited in diversity and detail. Its usefulness to contemporary problems consists in teaching a clearer and more dispassionate understanding of reality, which the historian has acquired by his painstaking reconstruction and reliving of alien experiences and events. This "modern historicism"' does not imply moral neutrality; to understand all is not to condone all.

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CHESTER G. STARR, Historical and Philosophical Time, History and Theory 5 (1966), Bei. 6, 24-35

Every historian has some attitude toward the speed and direction of human development, and this is the historian's concept of time. Historians should not be seduced by abstract chronology into assuming that time flows evenly; their task is to discern the swiftness or slowness, the advance or retrogression of the movement of events. The alleged difference between the "unhistorical" Greek conception of cyclical time and the "historical" Christian conception of linear time is not supported by the evidence from Greek and Christian historiography; it reflects a confusion between what philosophers have said about time and what historians in all ages have meant.

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JAMES FITZJAMES STEPHEN, The Study of History [Classics in the Philosophy of History Series. First published in 1861 History and Theory 1 (1960-1961), 186-201

A science of history does not threaten morals. "Laws governing matter," a misleading metaphor deriving from human laws (commands) used in governance, illicitly suggests inanimate objects governed by some necessity. Scientific "laws," better labeled "formulas," are records of facts. Predictions state that we have no doubt some event will occur, not that we are powerless to prevent it. Freedom is compatible with regularity. Men are as free to act regularly as irregularly-indeed, capricious action signals disease, not freedom. The criterion of blameworthy acts is voluntariness, not regularity or predictability. We praise and blame because human nature is so constituted.

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CHARLES TILLY, The Analysis of a Counter-Revolution, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 30-58

No theory of revolution is complete without explaining counter-revolutions. Historians of the Vend6e uprising have compiled evidence consonant with a "psychological" explanation style which directs our attention to motives of a few actors capable of conscious collective action; historiographical questions have been about motives -and responsibility (almost in a legal sense). Thus sources giving direct accounts of the events and testimony of the participants' intentions have been exploited rather than the Vend6e election records. This inhibits careful distinctions among the groups whose behavior is to be explained, and problems-such as ideology-not readily subsumed as "states of mind" disappear. Comparative analysis of states of mind being so difficult, the essential question why counter-revolution breaks out one place rather than another is omitted.

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OTTO B. VAN DER SPRENKEL, Max Weber on China, History and Theory 3 (1964), 348-370

Weber made a fundamental contribution to Sinology despite ignorance of the language, reliance on limited sources, many factual mistakes, and the fundamental methodological error of using data separated by two or three millenia as evidence of a social structure falsely assumed to be unchanging. Weber saw the stability of Chinese society as resulting from a balance between the Emperor-with his instrument the bureaucracy-and local lineages and guilds. His ideal type of patrimonial bureaucracy leads to some distortion of the evidence, and his picture of the lineage is overdrawn; nevertheless he asks all the right questions and his concepts lead to a more profound knowledge of Chinese social history.

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W. VON LEYDEN, History and the Concept of Relative Time, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 263-285

The development by Locke, Herder, and others of the concept of relative time, each time unit differing qualitatively and intrinsically according to the process of which it forms a part, bears on the nature of historical explanation. There is no universal time; the world "is" as it "appears" for every viewpoint; achievements of different periods, seemingly the same, differ by virtue of their contexts; phenomena are truly individualizable only through appraisal relative to these contexts which make explanation possible; even contemporary generations perceive a moment in different historical times; any of numerous different though equivalent descriptions can logically replace temporal statements.

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W. H. WALSH, Hegel on the History of Philosophy, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), Bei. 5, 67-82

Even though for Hegel the historian rethinks, positions not as past but as necessary stages in his own philosophical development, the history of philosophy remains external to philosophy proper since a genius could work out from the beginning the stages in the Idea's progress. Hegel's critical history allocates space according to philosophical, not historical considerations, saying little about historical contexts. Non-Hegelians also emphasize assessment more than narration, and all historians of the arts and sciences must make judgments of both importance and value. The history of philosophy, however, has become more historical; assessment requires understanding a philosopher's meaning through his historical situation.

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W. H. WALSH, Plato and the Philosophy of History: History and Theory in the Republic, History and Theory 2 (1962-1963), 3-16

The sequence from ideal state to tyran I ny contained in Books VIII-IX of the Republic constitutes neither history nor philosophy of history, but rather completes Plato's overall theory of politics, dealing, like every theoretical science, with simplified or pure cases, and narrated purely for dramatic effort. Popper's view that Plato was fundamentally an historicist is incorrect. Plato makes no straightforward comments on philosophy of history. Perhaps, like many Greeks, he surveyed history pessimistically, but he did not propound an iron law of decay. As a social scientist Plato held that there are laws of political change without supposing the course of history is unalterably fixed.

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MICHAEL WALZER, Puritanism as a Revolutionary Ideology, History and Theory 3 (1963-1964), 59-90

Marxists misunderstand not only religous thought and artistic creativity, but even revolutionary ideology itself, since their narrow economic categories fit post-revolutionary periods. English Puritanism has often been distorted by a false identification with capitalism, though basically it was incompatible with capitalism or liberalism. Its covenant was unlike a contract because it expected sinful behavior, not good faith, and it institutionalized mutual surveillance. Puritan discipline is crucial. It tended to transform repression into self-control; only when reliable behavior could be taken for granted was Puritan fanaticism relaxed and Lockean liberalism born. We must understand the real concerns of Puritans (why did they choose a religion charged with anxiety? why did they fear and persecute witches?) They experienced exile, alienation, and social mobility, and chose Puritanism because it helped them organize these experiences into effective lives.

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GERSHON WEILER, Fritz Mauthner as an Historian, History and Theory 4 (1964-1965), 57-71

In addition to his critique of language, Mauthner wrote a four-volume History of Atheism. A radical skeptical empiricist, Mauthner held that there were no historical laws; yet there could be a craft of historical writing. Applying his idea that thinking and speaking are identical, Mauthner sought to show that the history of atheism is the gradual realization that "God" is only a word. However, the book appears to resemble the historiography of ideas ii la Hegel more than Mauthner's theories should allow. This appearance is deceptive; Mauthner's History is not a true (i.e., scientifically valid) history of the development of an idea, but rather a personal recreation of the past, allowed by Mauthner's skeptical view of scientific methodology.

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HAYDEN V. WHITE, The Burden of History, History and Theory 5 (1966), 111-134

Claims by historians that history is both an art and a science are used to avoid the rigor appropriate to the sciences and to remain blind to the imaginative innovations characteristic of modern art. (This may explain why so many plays and novels of the past century represent historians as the most deadly enemies of sensibility.) Few modern historians have approached the intellectual courage of Burckhardt's "impressionist" view of the Renaissance; yet such courage--even to contemplate the dissolution of historiography as we now know it--is required before artists and scientists will be willing to take history seriously.

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BURLEIGH TAYLOR WILKINS, Teleology in Kant's Philosophy of History, History and Theory 5 (1966), 172-185

Kant's teleological principle is a regulative, not a constitutive, principle of reason, ordering but not creating the understanding's concepts of objects. The principle is both heuristic for suggesting explanations in terms of efficient causality and a reminder of such explanations' insufficiency. But Kant states the rough content as well as the existence of an historical pattern. Reason and understanding and philosophy and science are analogously related. Since historians disagree over which, if any, principles are used in explanations, reason, represented by philosophers, intrudes so on history. Further, the falsifiability of any attempted applications leaves the teleological principle itself untouched.

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