Gadamer I 217

Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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History: History is the study of the past, especially the people, events, and trends that have shaped our world. This is about the part of the past that was determined and experienced by consciousness. See also Historiography, Culture.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Johann Gustav Droysen on History - Dictionary of Arguments

Gadamer I 216
History/Droysen/Gadamer: Droysen sees the dual nature of history as being rooted in the "peculiar"
Gadamer I 217
charisma of human nature so happily imperfect that it must be both spiritually and physically ethical"(1)
Gadamer: With these terms, borrowed from Wilhelm von Humboldt, Droysen is certainly not trying to say anything other than what Ranke had in mind with his emphasis on force. He too does not see the reality of history as pure spirit. Rather, behaving ethically implies that the world of history does not know a pure expression of will in a material that is unresistingly pictorial. Its reality consists in a constantly new grasping and shaping of the "restlessly changing finiteness" to which every actor belongs. Droysen now succeeds to a completely different degree in drawing conclusions for historical behaviour from this double nature of history.
DroysenVsRanke: The reference to the behaviour of the poet, which was enough for Ranke, is no longer enough for him.
Cf. >Understanding/Ranke
Self-sacrifice by looking or telling does not lead to historical reality. For the poets "write a psychological interpretation of the events. In the realities however still other moments than the personalities have an effect" (Historik § 41)(1).
The poets treat the historical reality as if it was wanted and planned by acting persons. But that is not the reality of history, to be like that.
Therefore, the real will and planning of the acting people is not at all the actual object of historical understanding. The psychological interpretation of the individual individuals cannot achieve the meaning of the historical events themselves. "Neither does the one who wants become completely absorbed in this one fact, nor has that which has become, become only through the strength of his will, his intelligence; it is neither the pure nor the whole expression of this personality." (§ 41).
>Sense, >Interpretation, >Hermeneutics.
Psychological interpretation is therefore only a subordinate moment in historical understanding, and not only because it does not really achieve its goal. It is not only because a barrier is experienced here.
Psychology/Understanding/Droysen: The inwardness of the person, the sanctuary of conscience, is not only inaccessible to the historian. That to which only sympathy and love penetrate is not at all the goal and object of his research. He does not have to penetrate into the secrets of individual persons. What he is researching is not the individuals as such, but what they mean as moments in the movement of moral powers.

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

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Pfotenhauer IV 60
Positivism/History/DroysenVsBuckle/Droysen: (J. G. Droysen (1863)(1)). Since Droysen's criticism of Buckle's History of Civilization (H. Th. Buckle (2)) in England, efforts have been increasing to identify the historical sciences and their subject matter as a separate area of intellectual activity. Buckle's work could be considered representative for the attempt to create a positivist programme for the different areas of historical and social life.
Following on from Comte, the constant relations between observable phenomena should be recorded(3) instead of speculating metaphysically about "actual" causes. .... The presumption that all historical phenomena are causally determined would then become the leading precondition for historical research. This would be done for the sake of the methodical ideal of an exact, always repeatable, situation-independent observation and analysis.

1. J. G. Droysen Erhebung der Geschichte zum Rang einer Wissenschaft, in HZG 9, (1863), S. 1-22.
2. H. Th. Buckle, History of Civilization in England, London 185ff.
3. A. Comte, Discours sur l‘Esprit positif, Paris 1844, dt. Hamburg 1956, S. 26ff.

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

Pfot I
Helmut Pfotenhauer
Die Kunst als Physiologie. Nietzsches ästhetische Theorie und literarische Produktion. Stuttgart 1985

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