D'Oro, G (2015) History and Idealism: Collingwood and Oakeshott. In: The Routledge companion to hermeneutics. Routledge Philosophy Companions . Routledge, Abingdon, 191 -204. ISBN 9780415644587

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The philosophy of time is a branch of metaphysics that is concerned with questions concerning the nature of time. Is time real? Are past, present and future real properties of events or are they relative properties that events have only in virtue of the “before/after” relation in which they stand to one another? Some idealist philosophers made an important contribution to the philosophy of time. McTaggart (McTaggart in Le Poidevin 1993: 23-34), and Bradley (Bradley 1893) before him, claimed that the ascription of temporal properties to events generates paradoxes that cannot be overcome and concluded that the passage of time is illusory; time is just the way in which we perceive reality. Time, they concluded, is not ontologically real. Unlike their idealist predecessors Collingwood and Oakeshott are philosophers of history, not philosophers of time. Their philosophical reflection on the past is born out of a concern with the nature of historical understanding and the method at work in the historical sciences and belongs to the philosophy of science or social science rather than metaphysics, at least not to metaphysics as it is ordinarily understood. Their guiding concern was to defend the methodological autonomy of history from other forms of enquiry, not to establish ontological claims about the reality/unreality of time. They asked not “is the past real or unreal?” but “how must the past be understood if it is to be understood historically?” In so far as their concern was primarily conceptual and methodological rather than metaphysical their account of the distinctive categories, postulates or heuristic principles which govern historical understanding may be seen as an attempt to defend a version of the Erklären/Verstehen distinction.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: philosophy, hermeneutics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 15:09
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2018 13:26
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/1518

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