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Vom Nutzen der Historie. Hegels Auflösung des historischen Didaktizismus

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One of the versions of ,,reflective history" presented and criticized in Hegel's Introduction to the Philosophy of History is ,,pragmatic history": an attitude that approaches history with the primary purpose of learning from it. Hegel's objection against a role of history as magistra vitae does not lay emphasis on a human unwillingness to draw lessons from history, but rather argues for a fundamental impossibility of such Lehrbarkeit. The expectation to learn from history would in fact degrade it to a mechanism of an ,,eternal recurrence of the same", wherein the character of Spirit as a permanent, progressive production of new forms would fade and vanish. Particular events, which (according to Hegel) should be ,,apprehended faithfully", would then diminish to a mere manifestation of general structures and get deprived of their particularity. This attitude is treated by Hegel as a form of ,,reflective history" because the distance of the historian from his object is here manifestly at work; in this form of Reflexion, historical events are withheld within the realm of externality and otherness, and the ,,reflective historian" subsequently tries to bridge this estrangement by subjugating the past (history) to the present and its own (practical or theoretical) needs. This form of reflection also offers an opportunity to question the epistemological conditions of historical knowledge altogether.
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Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2017

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  • The journal Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, appearing since 1946, is among the most important academic German language journals. It is open to all topics, approaches, and positions of philosophical thought. Given the increasing differentiation and specialization of the field, it thus constitutes a forum offering its various disciplines the opportunity for mutual recognition and exchange. The articles published in it are subject to an anonymous peer review in which internationally renowned scholars of all areas of contemporary philosophical research participate.

    Die seit 1946 erscheinende Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung gehört zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften und steht allen Themen, Richtungen und Positionen der philosophischen Forschung offen. Angesichts der zunehmenden Ausdifferenzierung und Spezialisierung des Faches bietet sie damit auch ein Forum, in dem die verschiedenen Teildisziplinen sich gegenseitig wahrnehmen und in ein gemeinsames Gespräch kommen können. Die in ihr publizierten Abhandlungen durchlaufen ein anonymes Begutachtungsverfahren, an dem international anerkannte Forscher aus allen Spezialgebieten der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Forschung beteiligt sind.
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