The Physical and the Social

Dray William H.

in History as Re-Enactment

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238812
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679780 | DOI:
The Physical and the Social

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R. G. Collingwood has also been accused, because of the way he emphasises the historian's concern with past ‘thought’, of ignoring the considerable role played by physical conditions in history, and of remaining strangely silent about how large-scale social processes are to be understood. This chapter looks at the kinds of difficulties which are often thought to be raised by Collingwood's allegedly ignoring the role played by ‘objective conditions’ in history. These objective conditions refer to the natural environment in which people lived and acted, and the social groups to which they belonged, or which were in some way relevant to their lives. This chapter examines what Collingwood says about the place of physical conditions in history as well as his view of the role of social conditions, events, and structures.

Keywords: history; R. G. Collingwood; re-enactment; physical conditions; social conditions; objective conditions; social reductionism; social events; individualism

Chapter.  16988 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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