R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943): mind is history

I really like this guy’s perspective. What I’m trying to show with the genealogy is how subtleties of the modern mind are rooted in the history of literature, philosophy, art and so on – the conversation of mankind that Oakeshott is talking about. And recently I’ve been trying to historicize this realization itself. Who thought first and how did it develop that we realized that mind is history?

from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

collingwood.pngAccording to Collingwood, the science which is dedicated to the study of mind is history. Collingwood’s philosophy of mind and action is thus to be found in his philosophy of history, primarily in The Idea of History (1946) and The Principles of History (1999) both of which were posthumously published….

One of the best-known aspects of Collingwood’s philosophy of history is his account of re-enactment. Collingwood’s account of re-enactment is developed in answer to the question “what does it mean to understand historically?” Historical understanding differs from explanation in natural science because historians do not formulate empirical hypotheses but think through the actions of historical agents in order to make them intelligible.


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