Intellect, Rationality, Feeling

Dray William H.

in History as Re-Enactment

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238812
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679780 | DOI:
Intellect, Rationality, Feeling

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This chapter examines the question of whether R. G. Collingwood's theory of historical understanding is generally applicable to an historical subject-matter. Even those who have found much to admire in Collingwood's Idea of History and related writings have often complained that his idea of re-enactment is relevant only to a small part of what is normally regarded as history. Collingwood's theory of understanding has been charged with being too intellectualistic, too rationalistic, too action-oriented, too mentalistic, and too individualistic, to be regarded as an acceptable general account of the nature of historical understanding. This chapter first discusses the scope of re-enactment, then Collingwood's supposed intellectualism, rationality in Collingwood's subject-matter of history, his exclusion of perception, appetite, and emotion from the proper subject-matter of history, and how the idea of re-enactment can apply to the history of art and metaphysics.

Keywords: history; R. G. Collingwood; re-enactment; historical understanding; art; metaphysics; subject-matter; intellectualism; rationality

Chapter.  17460 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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