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Johann Gustav Droysen on Recognition - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 219
Recognition/Droysen/Gadamer: Against historical apriorism, [Droysen] agrees with Ranke that we cannot see the goal, only the direction of the movement. The purpose of the purposes to which the restless work of historical humanity is related cannot be determined by historical knowledge (§§ 80-86)(1).
It is only the object of our foreboding and belief. The position of historical knowledge now corresponds to this image of history.
DroysenVsRanke: Even [historical cognition] cannot be understood as Ranke understood [it]: as an aesthetic self-forgetfulness and self-extinction in the manner of the great epic poetry.
Ranke: The pantheistic move in Ranke allowed here the claim of a universal and at the same time direct participation, a complicity of the universe.
Droysen: Droysen, on the other hand, thinks of the mediations in which understanding moves. The moral powers are not only the actual reality of history, to which the individual elevates him- or herself in action. At the same time, they are what makes the one who questions and researches historically rise above his or her own particularity. The historian is determined and limited by his or her belonging to certain moral spheres, his or her homeland, his or her political and religious convictions. But it is precisely on this irrevocable one-sidedness that his or her participation is based.
Under the concrete conditions of one's own historical existence - and not hovering over things - the task is justice. "His or her justice is that he or she seeks to understand" (§ 91)(1).
Droysen's formula for historical recognition is therefore "to understand by research" (§ 8). Therein lies both an infinite mediation and an understanding" (§ 8). Therein lies also an infinite mediation and a final immediacy. The concept of research, which Droysen connects here in such a significant understanding should mark the infinity of the task by which the historian is as fundamentally separated from the achievements of artistic creation as he or she is from the perfect harmony that sympathy and love between you and I bring about. >Science/Droysen.

1. J.G. Droysen, Grundriß der Historik, 1868


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Droys I
J. G. Droysen
Grundriss der Historik Paderborn 2011

Gadamer I
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik 7. durchgesehene Auflage Tübingen 1960/2010

Gadamer II
H. G. Gadamer
The Relevance of the Beautiful, London 1986
German Edition:
Die Aktualität des Schönen: Kunst als Spiel, Symbol und Fest Stuttgart 1977


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