Re-Figuring Hayden White (Cultural Memory in the Present)

Produced in honor of White's 80th birthday, Re-Figuring Hayden White testifies to the lasting value of White's cutting edge paintings, which firmly reintegrates old reports with literature and the arts. The ebook is a massive reconsideration of the historian's contributions and impact through a world team of best students from a number of disciplines. person essays tackle the major suggestions of White's highbrow occupation, together with tropes, narrative, figuralism, and the ancient elegant whereas exploring where of White's paintings within the philosophy of background, postmodernism, and ethics. in addition they speak about his function as historian and instructor and observe his rules to precise old occasions.

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Indeed, we could go so far as to say that what counts as an event—at least a historical event—is determined by the relation to this goal. For Danto, Hegel’s procedure is formally equivalent to that of a historian of the Second World War. Knowing the end, in this case the Allied victory, the historian decides what events are worthy of inclusion, and thus of having “meaning,” by the degree to which these events relate to the war’s outcome. The difference between the historian and the philosopher is obvious, however: we know that the Allies won the war; the claim that freedom is finally and fully realized “in our time”—that is, in Hegel’s time—is very questionable, to say the least.

As far as I know, a similar claim has never been made by any philosopher (of history). The trajectory between the world, as an object of knowledge, and what is said about it, is always presented as a route without alternatives. “Optionalism” never had any popularity in philosophy. For a proper assessment of White’s claim, it must be emphasized that he does not have in mind anything so trivial as that we are free to say about the world what we want. ; and, indeed, the set of alternatives is truly infinite.

Hegel, Introduction, 10 (20). 11. , 12 (20). 12. , 18 (28). 13. , 35 (49). 14. , 41 (56). 15. , 57 (74). 16. , 59 (76). 17. , 82 (105). 18. , 21 (31). 19. Hegel, Vorlesungen, 524. 20. White, Metahistory, 126–27. 21. Danto, Narration and Knowledge, xiv. 22. Immanuel Kant, On History, ed. W. Beck (New York: Macmillan, 1963), 16ff. 23. , 25. 24. , 24. 25. Ibid. 26. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, ed. D. McLellan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 39. 27. , 44. 28. Hegel, Introduction, 81 (104).

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