Philosophy of History - Theory and Methodology of History

Philosophy of History

The philosophy of history is by no means a homogeneous discipline. It can most fully express the need for reflection on history, in comprehending what history is.

Although the authorship of the term philosophy of history attributed to Voltaire, the first experiments of the philosophy of history date back to the early Christian author Aurelius Augustine. The philosophy of history follows the general division of philosophical knowledge. First of all, it highlights the history ontology . those. the doctrine of historical existence. In addition to purely philosophical constructions, the ontology of history was embodied in various versions of the theory of the historical process. According to this approach, the story is really happening, happening - more precisely, is a process.

Let's list some questions on the ontology of history: how is the story going? what are its driving forces, causes, laws? what is the role of the individual in history? and others. On the concepts of the ontology of history are: fact, event, process, evolution, progress, development, purpose, meaning, etc.

Often, the term "historiosophy is used as a synonym for the philosophy of history. He also has a narrower meaning - under the historiosophy understand the religious model of the historical process. Historiosophy is asked questions about the meaning of history. As its main feature, one can call recognition of religion (first of all Christianity) the main driving force of the historical process. Other distinguishing features of historiosophy: the division of peoples into "historical" and "unhistorical", the assumption of expediency and a certain orientation of the historical process itself and, accordingly, the possibility of its completion (eschatology), a criticism of the concept of historical fact.

Historical factuality historiosophical approach opposes the eventuality of the historical process, the presence in it of meaning. The meaning is realized in history, it can be known (the historian, in the opinion of, for example, the United States philosopher P. Ya. Chaadayev, must be a prophet) or is exhausted (hence the possibility of an eschatological perspective).

History is viewed historiosophically as a teleological structure, and the subjects of the historical process (nations, states, etc.) are often understood by analogy with living organisms.

History, according to the historiosophical attitude, develops naturally, but this pattern often takes the form of providentialism. The course of history is unequivocally predetermined, all the meaning and purpose are predetermined. Meanwhile, this certainty is given from the outside, the history is monologous.

In historiosophical concepts, problems of the historical process are also being developed, in which an attempt is made to substantiate the unity of history (real or ideal). From the clarification of this unity, the basis of which constitutes either substantial multiplicity or intelligible integrity in itself, the solution of the question of the meaning of history also depends. In addition, the historiosophical approach is manifested in theurgism, i.e. search in the history of mystery, the true meaning hidden behind the empirical veil of events. Historiosophy assumes in history a peculiar "depth", "semantic dimension", in which its true course is determined. The historiosophical view makes sense beyond historical events, however this "depth" It does not need to be understood in a meaningful way. It can be irrational and illogical.

In addition to the ontology of history, there is a epistemology of history , or a theory of historical cognition.

The circle of questions of epistemology of history: how do we know about history? how is the past understood? how is history given to us, available? etc. The epistemology of history draws attention to the fact that history not only occurs but is also recognized.

The reality of history can be called into question - for the historical past is not the subject of our experience, it is not given to us directly, it is not available for observation, but it does not pass without a trace.

The ontology and epistemology of history do not exist in isolation. On the contrary, they are closely related, because the reality of history is revealed only through its knowledge. Historical existence is given through historical cognition.

The knowledge of history occurs in the form of the reconstruction of phenomena, processes, structures. But again, this reconstruction will not be for the most part material, the fullness of the events that have happened remains inaccessible. The historian undertakes not a physical, but a semantic reconstruction of historical events. He reproduces mainly the meaning of the events that occurred, in accordance with which he establishes the connection of facts and the dependence of events on each other.

The historical reconstruction carried out by the historian can be challenged, so there are various reconstructions of the same event. But each historian, in the end, ascribes to his reconstruction the meaning of reality - as, in his opinion, it was in fact. Most closely all epistemology of history comes into contact with the methodology of history. At the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. the methodology of history was often viewed as a synonym for the theory of historical knowledge. So, for example, it is in the meaning of the epistemology of history that the expression "methodology of history" used the largest United States theorist of historical science, AS Lappo-Danilevsky.

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