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.

Historical Experience Beyond the Linguistic Turn

Frank Ankersmit


Three stages can be discerned in the philosophy of history since World War I. The first stage gave us the discussion of the covering law model as initially defined by C.G. Hempel in his famous essay of 1942. The second stage was hermeneutics. It was introduced in the Anglo-Saxon philosophy of history by William Dray in his Laws and Explanation in History of 1957, which gave Collingwood's thought a much wider audience than it had hitherto had. Discussion of this topic gradually petered out with teleological explanation, the so-called ‘logical connection argument’ as presented by G.H. Von Wright and the debate on reasons versus causes. Recently, however, the interest in Anglo-Saxon hermeneutics ...

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