The Dilemma of Contemporary Anglo-Saxon Philosophy of History

History and Theory 25 (4):1 (1986)
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The narrativist philosophy of history and the epistemological philosophy of history are opposed to each other and have remarkably little in common. Within the epistemological philosophy, the debate between the coveringlaw model advocates and the analytical hermeneutists has always been moving towards synthesis more than towards perpetuation of the disagreement. But the revolution from epistemological to narrativist philosophy of history enacted in Hayden White's work made the philosophy of history finally catch up with the developments in philosophy since the works of Quine, Kuhn, and Rorty. White stresses the "making" or "poetic" function of narrative at the expense of the "matching" function so dear to the mimetic epistemology of positivism. Philosophers of history should shake off this positivistic past and make history narrativist



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