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An Introduction to the Philosophy of History

ISBN: 978-0-631-19941-0
304 pages
February 1998, Wiley-Blackwell
An Introduction to the Philosophy of History (0631199411) cover image


This book uncovers the wealth of philosophical problems that history presents, and encourages further thought on how these issues grow out of historical questions.
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Table of Contents



A. The Importance and Fascination of History.

B. Popularity of History.

C. Contemporary Neglect of the Philosophy of History.

D. Present State of the Philosophy of History.

E. How the Philosophy of History relates to Other Disciplines.

F. The Philosophy of History and Contemporary Concerns.

G. Future Possibilities of the Philosophy of History.

Part I: History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences:.

A. The Corners of the Triangle.

B. History and the Social Sciences - the right-hand side.

C. Philosophy and the Social Sciences - the base.

D. Philosophy and History - the left-hand side.

Part II: Main Themes:.

A. History is Important but Reliable?.

B. Objectivity in History.

C. Evidence.

D. Truth.

E. Social Processes and Frameworks.

F. Teleology.

G. Pattern, Structure and Colligation.

Part III: Cause and Explanation:.

A. Causes.

B. Explanation in General.

C. Statistical Explanation.

Part IV: Explanation in the Social Sciences and History:.

A. Explanation in the Social Sciences.

B. Explanation in History.

Part V: Science, History and Historicism:.

A. Science and History compared.

B. Science and History contrasted: Structure, Time and Meaning.

C. Historicism.

Part VI: Mind:.

A. Mind and the Historian.

B. Imagination and Understanding.

C. Action.

Part VII: Meaning:.

A. Language.

B. Hermeneutics.

C. Political Correctness.

Part VIII: "Only Connect":.

A. Communication and Culture.

B. Narrative.

Part IX: The End of History?: .

A. The Linguistic Turn in History.

B. The Loss of the Object.

C. From the Enlightenment to Postmodernism.

D. No End - No Beginning.

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Author Information

Michael Stanford held the position of Senior Lecturer in History at the University of the West of England until his retirement in 1983. He co-edits the journal Cogito and is the author of The Nature of Historical Knowledge (1986) and a Companion of the Study of History (1994).
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The Wiley Advantage

* Includes annotated further reading at the end of each chapter.
* Explains why and how philosophy, history and the social sciences converge.
* Incorporates a wide range of philosophical reference from the pre-Socratics to the Postmodernists.
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