Historicism an attempt at synthesis-reply

History and Theory 34 (3):168-173 (1995)
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Abstract

According to German theorists historicism was the result of a dynamization of the static world-view of the Enlightenment. According to contemporary Anglo-Saxon theorists historicism resulted from a de-rhetoricization of Enlightenment historical writing. It is argued that, contrary to appearances, these two views do not exclude but support each other. This can be explained if the account of change implicit in Enlightenment historical writing is compared to that suggested by historicism and, more specifically, by the historicist notion of the "historical idea." Aspects of the contemporary debate about the nature and the task of historical writing can be clarified from the perspective of the differences between Enlightenment and historicist historical writing

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