Giving the Past a Shape

Gordon Graham

in The Shape of the Past

Published in print February 1997 | ISBN: 9780192892553
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670619 | DOI:

Series: OPUS

Giving the Past a Shape

Show Summary Details


The study of history with the aim to understand the human past with some sense of detachment is a recent intellectual trend. In the past, a knowledge of history was aimed at ascertaining within history some hidden meaning: cosmic significance, general direction, or providential purpose. This chapter gives an overview of both the religious and secular philosophy of history including looking at Jewish, Christian, Hegelian, and Marxist ideas, and Idealism and Realism. The belief in historical development conceived as a philosophical history provides substantial material for conceptual elaboration and examination. The chapter evaluates the attitude of continental and analytical philosophical traditions toward the concept of grand historical narrative. The combination of the continental and analytical techniques for the purpose of philosophical history is still rare.

Keywords: philosophical history; historical development; analytical philosophical tradition; continental philosophical tradition

Chapter.  4378 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.