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 3: The Case for Historical Imagination: Defending the Human Factor and Narrative
The Case for Historical Imagination: Defending the Human Factor and Narrative
In debates on the status of the historical discipline the views of the English philosopher, historian and archaeologist R.G. Collingwood (1889-1943) play a prominent part. In the English-speaking world Collingwood is undoubtedly the most well-known and influential philosopher of history of the twentieth century. He is especially known for his posthumously published book The Idea of History (1946), which in 1995 appeared on a list in The Times Literary Supplement with the hundred most influential books since the Second World War.1 This is not without reason, for The Idea of History, and the debates it has aroused since its appearance, has initiated a particular interest ...