A Pluralistic View of History

Philosophy 8 (31):318 - 325 (1933)
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History presents us with a unity which is also a plurality. Both materialism and idealism subordinate the plurality to the unity, interpreting the particular either in terms of racial and social laws, or in terms of a unitary Idea or Spirit; and both, when developed to their logical conclusion, lead to a denial of significance to individual personality. According to the opposite point of view ‘objective spirit’ and economic ‘laws’ are equally abstractions of an individual’s mind, whose existence as a separately willing and experiencing self is prior and irresolvable. The problem is then to account for the unity of history in terms of individuals who are historically related but essentially separate



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