Reply to Professor Iggers

History and Theory 34 (3):168-173 (1995)
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Professor Iggers's main target in his critique of my essay is my preference for the historicist over the Enlightenment conception of the past. I agree with Iggers that in contemporary historical theory and contemporary philosophy of language many effective arguments against historicism can be found. I argue, however, that these arguments lose much of their cogency if we recognize that the historicist notion of "the historical idea" can be redefined to satisfy both the requirements of actual historical practice and contemporary philosophy of language. The main task of the contempo- rary theoretician is not to reject historicism but to recognize and to discover its intellectual riches, and to repair it whenever and wherever necessary



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