Development of Collingwood's Conception of Historical Object

Indian Philosophical Quarterly 17 (2):211 (1990)

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For Collingwood philosophy of history is both epistemology and metaphysics of history. In his earlier work, Collingwood maintained that history is concerned with given fact. Thus, in Religion and Philosophy, Collingwood says, a historical fact has an independent existence. In Speculum Mentis, he says a historical fact is not limited by space-time rather it is the totality of facts or fact as such. Philosophical knowledge aims to gain self-knowledge. The knowing mind goes through the mediation of external worlds, art, religion, science, and history. Apparently, there is a strong Hegelian influence.In The New Leviathan, He began to regard history as a discourse to human actions. The fact is no longer given or perpetually in process of giving but as things made. In An Autobiography, Collingwood says, history is a world of human actions.In the Idea of History he says, history is "answering questions, concerned with human actions in the past; pursued by interpretation of evidence; and for the sake of human knowledge". In his mature thought, Collingwood abandoned Reaisim and came to realize history as a study of universal thought that is both subjective and objective.
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