The editors introduce the core areas of current debate within historical theory, bringing the reader as up to date with continuing debates and current developments as is possible. The book is divided into three parts, covering: • Part I. Foundations: The Theoretical Grounds for Knowledge of the Past • Part II. Applications: Theory-Intensive Areas in History • Part III. Coda. Post-Postmodernism: Directions and Interrogations This important handbook brings together in one volume discussions of the role of modernity, empiricism, realism, post-modernity and deconstruction in the historian's craft. Chapters are written by leading writers from around the world and cover a wide spread of historical sub-disciplines, such as social history, intellectual history, narrative, gender, memory, psycho-analysis and cultural studies, taking in, along the way, the work of thinkers such as Paul Ricouer, Michel Foucault and Hayden White. The Sage Handbook of Historical Theory is an essential resource for practicing historians, and students of history, and will appeal to scholars in related disciplines in the social sciences and humanities who seek a closer understanding of the theoretical foundations of history.
Chapter 5: Intellectual History: From Ideas to Meanings
Intellectual History: From Ideas to Meanings
‘Intellectual History’ is a practice and a theory, or set of theories, that has been bound up with the ‘history of ideas’ for generations. Its boundaries are still not certain, though the latter has usually inclined more to the history of philosophy and, to some extent, the history of ‘science’ in a broad sense, and the former with the history of ‘culture.’1 In either form the field has had a certain integrity ever since the Enlightenment and even the Renaissance, when the ‘encyclopedia’ of all the arts and sciences was revived in the age of print and the beginning of what Ann Blair calls ‘information overload.’ Central to this revival was ...