Hayden White and History


Hayden White is renown for publishing two books that has changed the discipline of history forever: Metahistory: the Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe and The ContentĀ of the Form which boils down to the demonstration how the claim of a precise distinction between history (the narrative form which describes what happened in history) and the philosophy of history (the schema that legitimizes the narrative) is naught but a methodological blunder. Continue reading Hayden White and History

Reconstructing philosophy

This blog is a summary of Rorty’s salient points in his essay, The Historiography of Philosophy.

There are several ways to reconstruct the writings of philosophers: the rational, the historical, and the holistic. The paradigmatic examples are, respectively; P. F. Strawson of Kant, John Dunn‘s of Locke, and Heidegger’s Question of Being. Continue reading Reconstructing philosophy

Is there a point in/to/of philosophy?

by Nathaniel Mellors
by Nathaniel Mellors

Interlocutor #1: I hate philosophy! It never gets to the point, because it is a bunch of talk stuck in a perpetual circle! If philosophy ever truly got to the point, then we can use it and apply it in life, and hopefully become better people.

Interlocutor #2: Well, this may come as a shock to you, but there is a point in philosophy. It is to articulate reasons, examine how our thinking works, and account for the beliefs we hold. Philosophy does not preoccupy itself with “what” questions, because that is being engaged with the immediacy of experience. A philosophical frame of mind requires a contemplative state at the level of reflection. Within reflection, “why” questions emerges and philosophy ensues. Pending culture, philosophy employs many different types of languages – metaphysical, religious, logical, or even aesthetics – to talk about the point.

By the way… “the point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” — Bertrand Russell