20th Century (Twentieth Century) Philosophy of HistoryJuly 1, 2021
1.1. New Kantianism
Neo Kantianism, which adopted a critical attitude based on Kant in the face of contemporary philosophical problems and a return from speculative idealism to Kant’s theory of knowledge in the German philosophical tradition, carried out one of the most important philosophical studies on “historical science” in the 20th century.
1.1.1. Heidelberg School
The historical criticism of the Heidelberg School takes an epistemological and scientific philosophical stance against idealist philosophies of history and tries to develop a logic of history based on this attitude.
220.127.116.11. Wilhelm Wildelband
The aim of history is not to obtain universal propositions, but to describe each event in its uniqueness.
18.104.22.168. Henry Rickert
History can only remain an individualizing science, it cannot and should never become a generalizing science in pursuit of laws.
We use the causality principle as a law-fact relation in the natural sciences, according to the notion of necessity. However, in cultural reality, we cannot use this principle as a law-fact relation depending on the concept of necessity. Causality is established here according to a value-action relationship. The way values determine actions is not a necessity. “People’s lives are full of acts contrary to the values they hold on to and believe in. Therefore, cultural reality is absolutely separate from natural reality in that it both requires an act of “understanding” as a field of reality based on values, and that it does not involve a natural scientific necessity.”
1.1.2. Marburg School
Henri Cohen: “The essence of history can be found not in changes in productive forces and relations of production, but in moral principles, which are the products of free human reason.” he said.
1.2.1. Wilhelm Dilthey
The total identity of man, his unity, is something that has been formed historically. The thing that needs to be taken into account in understanding this unity is not the acceptance of a mere a priori knowledge possibility; on the contrary, it is a history of development derived from the sum of our positions.
Spiritual life is a matter of understanding, not naturalistic explanation. A special orientation is needed to turn to history. This is about reliving and understanding the past.
The most convenient “type of objectification” for our understanding of historical events is language. Language has always been the carrier of meaning.
According to Dilthey, the spiritual sciences, and especially history, can identify some basic and carrier elements that “have come to live in all historical phenomena”. Language comes first among these basic and carrier elements, which Diltehey called “living patterns” and “objectifications”; In fact, according to him, the most convenient “type of objectification” for our understanding of historical events is language. Because for Dilthey, language has been “the carrier of meanings in every period”. For this reason, language is the medium in which each historical period expresses itself and objectifies.
Because, according to Dilthey, “certain values of life are included in every historical period and all the turmoil of history revolves around these values. The values that mark a historical period can be determined in language as the carrier of the meanings of that period. Therefore, the main material of spiritual sciences is always linguistic products. written works.
We are today, under a certain spiritual equipment, in a network of values quite different from the values of the past, and therefore our ability to fully understand the past values that are more or less foreign to us is therefore limited. For this reason, what we can do is limited to understanding the past, linguistic products, the language of written works by interpreting it, that is, making it hermeneutic.
1.3. The New Hegelian Understanding of History
1.3.1. Benedetto Croce
There is no other spirit in history other than the spirit that arises from man’s own actions. Therefore, the spirit is not something inserted into history, revealing itself in history, on the contrary, the spirit itself is history.
1.3.2. Robin George Collingwood
We, who live at a certain moment in history, never have the right and opportunity to say anything about the whole of history.
Philosophical antihistory cannot be abolished by raising one of the opposites above the other. The dilemma can only be overcome by intuitively feeling oneself as a historical entity and epoch as a historical whole that folds into the past.
1.4. Circular Understanding of History
1.4.1. Oswald Spengler
We cannot lean into history with the causality category of theoretical reason; because history is a field of randomly blooming flowers (cultures). History is a science that tries to understand high cultures in comparisons without resorting to value judgments.
1.4.2. Arnold Joseph Toynbee
History as a science is somewhere between the legal sciences and poetry and is based on both. The object unit of history is “cultures”. Cultures are dynamic things. It is the “creative people” who give this dynamic to cultures. Especially high cultures create “meaning integrity” that is understandable within themselves. Especially history is a science that tries to understand these high cultures in comparisons without resorting to value judgments.
1.5. Twentieth-Century Maximism
1.5.1. Georg Lukacs
Historical events are always uninterrupted.