Philosophy of history

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The philosophy of history is a sub-discipline of philosophy that deals with questions about human history. The term was coined by Voltaire in the Age of Enlightenment .

Like the word “ history ”, which describes both the historical event and its representation in historiography , two orientations can also be distinguished for the philosophy of history: On the one hand, it offers an incentive to think about the course and goal of history, about the existence and the Verifiability of general laws of their development and a possibly inherent meaning. On the other hand, it reflects the scientific methods of researching and performing historians. If it is to be more than mere speculation, it must be based on the individual empirical findings of historical science. In the first sense it is also designated as speculative , substantial or material philosophy of history ; in the latter as a critical , analytical or formal philosophy of history .

Development of the philosophy of history

If the story is viewed as a unified event, different approaches to interpreting its course can be distinguished. There are linear, biological, cyclical and open models. Linear models assume a beginning and an end of history, while biological approaches interpret the development of individual societies in analogy to different ages. Cyclical theories base history on a circular or spiral model. Finally, the open model interprets history as an essentially undetermined process which, due to its complexity, cannot be predetermined, or only in short-term and clearly defined contexts. Furthermore, the model ideas of those who think in terms of history and philosophy differ in the way in which the overall direction of human history and its individual phases are interpreted in terms of ascent or progress or decline or decline.

The problem of structuring the historical course is also controversial - if only because of the different perspectives mentioned and because of the different and sometimes time-shifted development of the individual cultural areas . For pragmatic reasons, the current ( Eurocentric ) historical epoch scheme is used for the rough breakdown .

Greco-Roman antiquity

Classical Greek philosophy generally shows an ahistorical approach. History is not regarded as real science, since it has to do with the particular factually happened, but only the general is considered as a possible object of scientific statements.

However, preliminary stages of historical-philosophical thinking can already be found in myth . Hesiod's epic didactic poem Works and Days contains the myth of the five world ages or genders as a history of decline. The sexes do not descend from one another, but live in their time and disappear again from the earth to be replaced by a newly created sex. In the initial golden age , people lived in a quasi-paradisiacal state. They led a life like the gods, without sorrow, effort, need and agonizing old age. Calm work was enough for them, and death came over them gently as sleep. However, in the Iron Age - the present of Hesiod - people are ceaselessly struggling and worrying. One day there will only be mistrust, slapping and stabbing among them and this human race will also be a thing of the past. According to Hesiod, the cause of this development is the lack of “awe” ( aidos ) and “right reward” ( nemesis ). Hesiod considers this development to be reversible. The people would have a "room for maneuver" and could return to the order of Zeus and law.

Herodotus has been the "father of historiography" ( pater historiae ) since Cicero . His basic concern was to interpret the acts of the past and the present metaphysically by trying to show that the gods as the real directors of history stand behind the randomly appearing actions of man.

The historiography of Thucydides , who can be described as the founder of a scientific description of history, represents a fundamental further development in critical-formal terms . His work focuses on the presentation of facts and causal relationships and is based on carefully evaluated sources. His distinction between the immediate causes and the long-term causes of the Peloponnesian War was groundbreaking in the sense of in-depth historical thinking and interpretation .

With the Romans , history gained great importance in practical and political terms. The adherence to the customs and institutions handed down from the ancestors created continuity. The great men of the past were role models to be emulated. The writing of history was geared towards the development of the Roman people and their community, whereby with the expansion of power of the Roman Empire a universal way of thinking developed. The gods influenced the success and failure of man, but not in complete arbitrariness, but taking into account his behavior.

The Christian doctrine of salvation - the link to the European Middle Ages

The emergence of Christianity represented a decisive turning point in the development of historical thought. The Christian is on the one hand part of the earthly world and can also take part in world events; but he must not attach any ultimate weight to this, since he is referred to a different, otherworldly world. For the Christian, history is identical with salvation history . As a world and personal story, it is oriented towards the goal of achieving the ultimate abolition of separation from God. Historical happenings are such a meaningful process that has one ultimate purpose, towards which the human being has to orient himself.

In the Old Testament , God is Lord of history and the destinies of peoples. His chosen people Israel is the tool for the realization of his plan of salvation, which includes all of humanity. In the prophetic literature of God is remembered in the past while at the exploits, but this is done in view of a still forthcoming future at the end of all time. For example, Isaiah says (43, 18 f.):

Don't think about what was before; You should not pay attention to what has passed. Look here, now I'm doing something new. It's already showing up, don't you notice?

In the New Testament , with the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ, the end of time has come. The action of God, which was preached by the prophets for the last times, has been fulfilled. After the resurrection of Jesus, the last period of salvation history, the time of the Church, begins. It is completed with the return ( parousia ) of Christ and the last judgment .

With the church fathers the story takes place, v. a. in the controversy with Jews, Gentiles, and Gnostics, played a major role. It becomes a means of reconciling the novelty of Christianity and the continuity of God's will.

The first coherent interpretation of history, which as such was the forerunner of all later systems of the philosophy of history, was given by Augustine in his main work The State of God . Since his aim was to ensure the truth of the Christian faith by reflecting on the meaning of history, neither history nor its philosophical penetration were the focus of the work; on the contrary, it became the foundation of medieval theology of history.

In it, Augustine described the historical events from Cain and Abel up to the end of the world as being shaped by the fundamental opposition between “civitas dei” (God's state) and “civitas terrena” (earthly state). The assessment of the "civitas terrena" is ambiguous: on the one hand it is viewed as sinful and remote from God, on the other hand it is the bearer of the external order. Ultimately, God is Lord of both “civitates” and thus of historical events in general. Man need not worry about the shaping of history, because it is subject to the inexplicable counsel of God.

Modern times

Giambattista Vico's work “Scienza Nuova” is seen as the prelude to the development of the classical philosophy of history , which combines methodological reflection on the conditions for recognizing history with the universal historical approach. According to Vico, the ability to gain historical knowledge is based on the fact that socio-political forms of order are man-made and, as their own products, are even more accessible to understanding than mathematical and geometric sizes or shapes. The exploration of the history of "all peoples in their emergence, progress, climax, decline and end" remains tied back in Vico theology of history, in that the scientific view of history is supposed to make a meaning in what is happening as "proof of providence" and the "eternal goodness of God" visible . Vico's view of history is based on the order of nature and is cyclical with a periodically recurring sequence of ages.

The detachment from all historical theological premises in the spirit of the modern Enlightenment optimism for progress takes place first in France and extends from Bossuet's "Discours sur l'histoire universelle" (1681), which praises the perfection of human reason, which is still held in the context of religious and salvation history. Ground plan for two treatises on universal history ”(1751) from the pen of the only 24-year-old later Minister of Finance, Turgot, to Voltaire's work La philosophie de l'histoire (1765). Instead of giving space to speculations about the origins and end times, Voltaire relies on empirical research into natural causes and treats climate , government and religion as important influencing factors. Against the seducibility of the human imagination, the enlightenment thinker sets reason as a testing authority, which even alleged historical facts would have to withstand. Nature sets the norms for law and order, for morality (the golden rule ) and religion. Reason is in harmony with nature and has an enlightening effect on irrationality and malice and thus becomes a formative force in history. Voltaire criticized the arbitrariness of the absolutist state and the traditional church with the slogan "Écrasez l'infâme!" (For example: "Crush the wicked!" Or "Crush the hideous thing!") And called for resistance against these old forces.

"In emphatischster shape and vollständigster training" (Angehrn) shows the progress of ideas on the culmination of the French Revolution in 1794 with the appearance of Condorcet "Draft historical account of the progress of the human mind." With his model of progress, which became the basis of the classical philosophy of history, Condorcet combined several basic views: History as a whole stands for the advancement of humanity; the process is sometimes accelerated, then slowed down again, but irreversibly and without regression; it is necessary and proceeds according to law; in relation to the future it continues continuously and without definable limits of perfection. Condorcet himself fell victim to Jacobin rule in the year his work was published .

The classic German philosophy of history

In the classical German philosophy of history, "the unsurpassable constellation of affirmative philosophy of history" unfolds, the span of which Emil Angehrn sees as extending from Kant to Marx. History is now understood as a self-running process of the development of reason and human freedom (with Marx, after all, according to the dialectic of the development of productive forces and production relations). The consistently constitutive idea of ​​progress comes into being in a specific way.


By Kant history - against Vico - sees as a targeted process and the visibility addressed its course, he sets the basic coordinates of the classical philosophy of history. For Kant, the fuel of the historical process lies in nature, in which all living things urge the full development of its faculties. He also relates this to the development of the human race, although his own doings appear to him to be more absurd than deliberately targeted:

“Since people do not only proceed instinctively in their endeavors, like animals, and yet not, as a whole, like sensible beings according to an agreed plan, no planned story […] of them seems to be possible either. One cannot help feeling a certain displeasure when one sees what they do and don't do on the big world stage; and with now and then apparent wisdom in detail, but finally everything on the large scale out of folly, childish vanity, often also childish malice and destructiveness is found: in the end one does not know what one thinks of our species so conceited of its virtues for one Should make term. There is no information here for the philosopher other than that, since he cannot, on the whole, presuppose any reasonable intention of his own in people and their games, he is trying to find out whether he could not discover a natural intention in this absurd process of human things; From which of the creatures that proceed without a plan of their own, a story according to a certain plan of nature is nevertheless possible. "

Ultimately, therefore, it is the comprehensive natural purpose, which includes freedom, self-preservation, and security, that brings about the realization of the immanent goal of a cosmopolitan society for Kant. In the contemporary French Revolution he saw a testimony to the fact that mankind is making progress in freedom that will remain unforgettable and prove irreversible. For the future, Kant saw - in the further development of the international law approaches of Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf  - a world organization that spanned (national) statehood would emerge, a League of Nations:

“So nature has again used the intolerance of human beings, even of the great societies and bodies of state of this kind of creatures, as a means to find a state of calm and security in the inevitable antagonism of these creatures; d. i. it drives through wars, through the exaggerated and never slacking armament for them, through the hardship that every state has to feel inwardly, even in the middle of peace, to initially imperfect attempts, but finally after much devastation, upheaval, and even more thoroughgoing inner exhaustion of their powers to what reason could have told them even without so much sad experience, namely: to leave the lawless state of savages and join a league of nations; where everyone, even the smallest state, could expect their security and rights not from their own power or their own legal judgment, but solely from this great League of Nations (Foedus Amphictyonum), from a united power and from the decision according to the laws of the united will. "

However, as a philosopher of history, Kant also made the epistemological reservation that pragmatic rather than provable reasons would speak for the expediency instead of the futility of historical processes.


Compared to Kant's approach, which is mainly based on historical knowledge, Fichte sees the moment of shaping history in the foreground: "The purpose of human life on earth is that in it all of its relations with freedom should be based on reason."

Logically, Fichte elevates the present to the “center of all time”, which is particularly important as the point of change and decision. Fichte's “Speeches to the German Nation” were inspired by this approach and were intended to give the nation, which was at a historic low under Napoleonic rule, the will and drive for self-liberation.

For Fichte, the historical agenda cannot be derived from abstract principles, but from historical experience and judgment, which coagulate into a knowledge of what is happening at any given time: “The measure is never the best at all, but only the best for them Time: this can only be stated by someone [...] who most correctly understands the eternal law of freedom as applied to his time and his people. "

On the one hand, Fichte showed great appreciation for personal individuality and the plurality of peoples when he expressed that the essence of humanity could only be represented in the most diverse degrees of individuals and peoples, because only in diversity does the divinity appear in its own actual mirror out. ”On the other hand, in the final stage of the historical process, he expected the overcoming of politics with and in religion and the unification of peoples to form a“ Christian state ”encompassing humanity, a vision reminiscent of Augustine.


The keystone of the classical German philosophy of history, which at the same time reached the idealistic culmination point, was set by Hegel :

“You have to bring the belief and thoughts to the story that the world of volition is not left to chance. That in the events of the peoples there is an ultimate end that ruling, that reason in world history - not the reason of a particular subject, but the divine, absolute reason - is a truth which we presuppose; its proof is the treatise of world history itself: it is the image and the deed of reason. "

Epistemological reservations, as Kant had clearly expressed them, are not to be found in Hegel, who used his historical-philosophical thinking and the like. a. summed up in the short formula: "World history is a progress in the awareness of freedom - a progress that we have to recognize in its necessity." Freedom is necessary because only when a person is free can he recognize what is "true" and not just doing the will of the other. In order to achieve freedom, however, a person must cancel himself out against bondage. Only when he can stand up in spite of the fear of death can he be free. Hegel describes this process as follows:

“Servitude and tyranny are therefore a necessary stage in the history of peoples and therefore something or justified. No absolute wrong is done to those who remain servants; for whoever does not have the courage to dare to live in order to achieve freedom deserves to be a slave ... That servile obedience forms ... only the beginning of freedom, because that to which the natural detail of self-consciousness submits, not the on and Truly general , rational will that exists for itself , but the individual, accidental will of another subject. "

Hegel saw the diversity and apparent contradiction of historical events fruitfully abolished in world-ruling reason, the " world spirit ", whose work the Greek Anaxagoras - still limited to the order of nature - in connection with the nus (in the sense of understanding or reason) have brought: “The truth now that one thing, namely Divine Providence, is in charge of the events of the world, corresponds to the principle given. For divine providence is wisdom according to infinite power, which its ends, i.e. i. realizing the world's absolute, rational end; Reason is thinking that is completely free to determine itself, Nus. ”Hegel's history-shaping reason and divine providence are thus one.

For Hegel the story begins with the emergence of statehood, everything before that he calls "prehistory". In order to get to freedom they have to recognize the freedom of others and they can only do that if they are organized in a society. The reason-driven historical process aimed at liberal emancipation runs with Hegel from the oriental epoch - with the singular freedom exclusively for the despot - through the Greco-Roman civilization - with freedom for parts of the citizenry - to the Christian modern world, in which freedom becomes general. The peoples can make epochs in their own time by becoming carriers of the respective stage of development of the world spirit until another people in its heyday takes the lead. Finally, according to Hegel, the historically significant acts are performed by individuals who remain hidden from their work in the service of the world spirit and who receive neither honor nor thanks for their work which is not understood.

In Hegel's presence, he said, the historical process had reached its completion: "[...] the present has its barbarism and unlawful arbitrariness, and the truth has cast off its beyond and its accidental violence, so that the true reconciliation has become objective, which unfolds the state into the image and reality of reason [...] "

He explains phenomena such as the Middle Ages, which do not correspond to Hegel's view of history, that such setbacks and decline into barbarism are necessary in order to prepare the transition to the next stage of development. Some events in history may appear illogical and accidental. Ultimately, however, they serve the ultimate goal of the story; H. for the self-development of the spirit. Hegel calls this the “ruse of reason”.

Insightful and z. Hegel's procedural premises for gaining knowledge about the rule of reason were partly significant for later technical discussions:

“Even the ordinary, mediocre historian who thinks and pretends that he is only absorbing, only giving himself to what is given, is not passive with his thinking; he brings his categories with him and sees what is there through them. The truth does not lie on the sensual surface; in everything that is supposed to be scientific, reason must not sleep and reflection must be applied. Whoever looks at the world sensibly, also looks at it sensibly; both are in exchange provision. "

Specialist historians whose views differed from his own kept Hegel at a distance:

“But we have to take history as it is; we have to proceed historically, empirically. Among other things, we do not have to be seduced by historians in the field; for at least among the German historians, even those who have great authority, do everything they can to the so-called source study, there are those who do what they accuse the philosophers of, namely to make a priori fictions in history. "

Karl Marx and historical materialism

Depending on the perspective taken, the historical thinking of Karl Marx, which is described with the term historical materialism , can be understood as a radical break with the idealistic German philosophy of history or as a continuation by other means. Marx himself emphatically emphasized the aspect of an elementary new beginning, for example in the familiar phrase:

"The philosophers have just interpreted the world in different ways, it depends on changing it."

In view of the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, the claim that Marx may thus formulate for his own thoughts and actions can be considered fulfilled, albeit in a different way than that presented by him. Elements of continuity can, however, also be demonstrated in this thesis, which is linked to Fichte's call for action that has an impact on history. From Hegel, whom Marx thought he had turned upside down, he took over the idea of ​​a dialectical historical progress of mankind - in a new interpretation. And the future projection of the classless society ( communism ) is often interpreted as a secular variant of the history of salvation of the Augustinian state of God. Marx's radical departure from the idealistic German philosophy of history consists primarily in the fact that he determines the “laws of motion” of history in the dialectical development of productive forces and production relations; H. expressly places it on a material, economic basis on which human existence at the respective stage of social development mainly depends. In this regard, Marx essentially differentiates between primitive society, Asiatic mode of production , (ancient) slave-holding society, feudalist, capitalist and communist society. According to Marx, each of these social formations between primitive society and communism corresponds to a specific class antagonism:

“The history of all previous society is the history of class struggles.
Free and slave , patrician and plebeian , baron and serf , guild citizen and fellow , in short, the oppressor and the oppressed stood in constant opposition to one another, waged an uninterrupted, sometimes hidden, sometimes open struggle, a struggle that was each time with a revolutionary reorganization of the whole Society ended or with the common fall of the fighting classes. [...]
If the proletariat in the struggle against the bourgeoisie necessarily unites itself into a class, makes itself the ruling class through a revolution and as a class forcibly abolishes the old relations of production, then with these relations of production it lifts the conditions of existence of class antagonism, of classes in general, and hence its own rule as a class.
In place of the old bourgeois society with its classes and class antagonisms, there is an association in which the free development of everyone is the condition for the free development of all. "

In the expected transition from capitalist to classless communist society, as in all previous transformation processes, labor and property relations were decisive in their first beneficial, then inhibiting effect on the development of productive forces. According to Marx, the systemic compulsion on the part of the capital owners to maximize profits not only creates a wage labor force alienated from the product of their own work in factories , but also a maximum exploitation of their labor power, so that absolute impoverishment occurs and the subsistence level falls below the minimum . In this way, however, the capitalist bourgeoisie becomes its own grave digger, because the exploited proletarian masses have no choice but to pursue the revolutionary overthrow of the existing conditions in order to secure their own survival. Only then would the way be free to develop all productive resources through which the needs of all people in communist society could be satisfied.

Angehrn places historical materialism in a historical-philosophical context that spans time: “The fundamental recognizability of the human does not justify a concrete reconciliation with the world. This requires historical understanding: knowing the regular course and the goal of history ensures the consciousness of the meaningfulness of the world. The philosophy of history has its pathos not least in the fact that it confronts the current awareness of a non-reconciliation, a world marked by suffering and powerlessness. "

The Marxian approach not only made political history, but also enriched and expanded scientific research, for example in the fields of economics, society and history. Last but not least, historical research has experienced a reorientation, which u. a. the increased consideration of economic and social interests when explaining historical connections. The theses that go back to Marx that being determines consciousness and that the individual should be understood as an “ensemble of social relationships” have since become objects of research and points of reference for controversies in a variety of ways.

Philosophy of History in the 20th Century

In addition to and after the historicism of Croce and Dilthey in particular, who opposed the optimism of progress in the classical German philosophy of history, the idea that historical epochs should not be understood as a transitional stage of a definable development process, but as human historical manifestations exposed to their own framework and driving forces, emerged in the 20th century a new perspective on historical processes influenced by the horrors of two world wars and the global nuclear and ecological threat scenarios. In addition to crisis awareness and skepticism, such as those expressed in the dialectic of the Enlightenment by Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno , the focus was increasingly on comparative cultural history on a global scale. With a view to globalization and the planetary threat from civil and military technologies, Emil Angehrn remarks :

"Even if Kant's cosmopolitan association is still a long way off, the horizon he has opened up has become topical and natural in an unexpected way."

Spengler, Guénon and Evola - cyclical concepts

A much discussed historical-philosophical approach of the 20th century comes from Oswald Spengler . This stood in the tradition of the philosophy of life and referred primarily to Goethe and Nietzsche in his work The Downfall of the West . Spengler postulates a constant morphological development plan for every great culture such as the Egyptian, Indian or Chinese, which is to be understood in analogy to the biological life cycle of a living being. This “life plan”, which cultures are just as peculiar as biological stages of development in the life of a living being, unwinds “fatefully” in every culture and leads to the fact that their “life” always comes to a standstill after around 1000 years. The stages of this development cycle could be roughly described using the terms childhood , youth , adulthood and old age . The passage through these stages is followed by that of “civilization”, in which the original vitality of a culture is exhausted and the civilizational achievements are merely defended by means of “Caesarism” and cast in an imperial form.

Cyclically oriented philosophies of history mostly tie in with traditional ideas and mythologies. Important representatives in the 20th century are René Guénon and Julius Evola . In his main cultural-philosophical work, Revolte gegen die Moderne Welt, the latter also represents a philosophy of history determined by large cycles. This is based in part on Spengler's oscillating cultures, but mainly - as with Guénon - on the ancient teachings of great world ages, as they already occur in Hesiod or in Vedanta .

Toynbee and McNeill - Global Approaches

Arnold Toynbee's work The Course of World History ties in with Spengler's “Fall of the West”, but does not represent his culturally pessimistic, deterministic view. Rather, Toynbee propagates an evolutionary and, in principle, open-ended view. "Answers" (according to their ability - According to, not all cultures develop in a constant cycle of rise and fall, but each different responses ) to "challenges" ( challenges ) to find. He takes the view that the size of the initial incentive to develop a culture corresponds to the level of the later stage of development. But the challenge can also be too strong and lead to overstretching of the forces. Accordingly, cultures that are faced with challenges that are too simple or too difficult do not develop at all or stagnate. Toynbee was one of the first philosophers of history to view history in a way that was not exclusively Eurocentric. William Hardy McNeill's book The Rise of the West (1963), now considered the standard work, laid the foundation for the world history trend established in the 1980s .

Barth and Gadamer - sociological, language-analytical and hermeneutic approaches

Where the philosophy of history gets by without metaphysical elements, approaches from other sciences are occasionally included, or the assumption of a uniform historical principle is completely dispensed with. Paul Barth , for example, drew for his work The philosophy of history as sociology (1897), the sociology approach and preferred against their part rationalist, partly biological schools a voluntarist approach on the line by Ferdinand Tonnies . On the other hand, in Kantian-influenced concepts, the unity of the historical process appears only as a “regulative idea” that we cannot recognize, but only think.

Approaches based on language analysis focus on the structure of historical statements. They mostly concentrate on the treatment of epistemological and epistemological problems of historical knowledge, as presented by the pragmatically oriented theory of history . They dispense with systematic attempts to explain world history and focus on addressing the implicit metaphysical assumptions of traditional philosophies of history. The hermeneutic approach - represented in particular by Hans-Georg Gadamer - also dispenses with the recording of history in the sense of a comprehensive unitary context. Human understanding is seen here as always already bound into a historical context and limited by it. “The ideal of a full self-transparency of the subject turns out to be an illusion, as does that of a complete understanding of historical processes. Against the reflection-philosophical absorption of history in relation to oneself, it is necessary to assert the resistance of a reality against which the 'omnipotence of reflection' breaks. "

See also


Primary texts


middle Ages

  • Ibn Chaldūn : The Muqaddima. Reflections on world history . Translated from the Arabic and with an introduction by Alma Giese. Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-62237-3
  • Joachim von Fiore : Expositio in Apocalypsim . Minerva-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1964.

Renaissance and early modern times


19th century

20th century

Secondary literature

  • Karl Acham : Analytical philosophy of history. A critical introduction . Alber, Freiburg u. a. 1974, ISBN 3-495-47238-X
  • Christoph V. Albrecht: Geopolitics and Philosophy of History, 1748–1798 . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 978-3-05-003205-4
  • Emil Angehrn : Philosophy of History . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Berlin / Cologne 1991, ISBN 978-3-17-010623-9
  • Jörg Baberowski : The meaning of the story. Theories of history from Hegel to Foucault . Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 978-3-406-52793-7
  • Uwe Barrelmeyer: Historical reality as a problem. Investigations on historical theoretical foundations of historical knowledge with Johann Gustav Droysen, Georg Simmel and Max Weber . LIT-Verlag, Münster 1997, ISBN 978-3-8258-3262-9
  • Volker Depkat , Matthias Müller, Andreas Urs Sommer (eds.): Why history (s)? Historical science and philosophy of history in conflict . Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08419-3
  • David Engels (ed.): From Plato to Fukuyama. Biologistic and cyclical concepts in the philosophy of history of antiquity and the west, Latomus, Brussels 2015, ISBN 978-90-429-3274-6 .
  • Ernest Gellner : plow, sword and book. Baselines of human history . dtv / Klett-Cotta, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-423-04602-3 .
  • Lucas Marco Gisi: Imagination and Mythology. The entanglement of anthropology and history in the 18th century, Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 2007 (spectrum literaturwissenschaft / comparative studies; 11). ISBN 978-3-11-019942-0
  • Steffen Groscurth: Philosophy of history as the basis for cultural criticism? Herder, Schiller, Adorno. Structural and content-related investigation for a new occupation with the philosophy of history . European University Press, Dülmen 2005, ISBN 978-3-89966-137-8
  • Martin Klüners: Philosophy of History and Psychoanalysis . V & R Unipress, Göttingen 2013, ISBN 978-3-8471-0147-5
  • Karl-Heinz Lembeck (ed.): Philosophy of history. Alber, Freiburg u. a. 2000, ISBN 3-495-48011-0
  • Henning Ottmann : History of Political Thought. From the beginnings with the Greeks to our time . Volumes 1–4, Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2001 ff.
  • Johannes Rohbeck : Philosophy of history as an introduction . Junius, 2nd edition Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-88506-602-6
  • Johannes Rohbeck, Herta Nagl-Docekal (ed.): Philosophy of history and cultural criticism. Historical and systematic studies . WBG, Darmstadt 2003, ISBN 978-3-534-15068-7
  • Kurt Rossmann : German philosophy of history. Selected texts from Lessing to Jaspers. Dtv, Munich 1969, ISBN 3-85883-018-6
  • Richard Schaeffler : Introduction to the philosophy of history . WBG, 4th edition Darmstadt 1991, ISBN 3-534-05591-8
  • David Schulz: The nature of history. The discovery of geological depth and the historical concepts between the Enlightenment and the modern age (= systems of order, vol. 56). de Gruyter / Oldenburg, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-11-064622-1 .
  • Andreas Urs Sommer : History as a consolation. Isaak Iselin's philosophy of history . Schwabe & Co. AG, Basel 2002, ISBN 3-7965-1940-7
  • Andreas Urs Sommer: Creation of meaning through history? On the genesis of the speculative universalistic philosophy of history between Pierre Bayle and Immanuel Kant . Schwabe & Co, Basel 2006, ISBN 978-3-7965-2214-7

Web links

Wikisource: Philosophy of History  - Sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Philosophy of history  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Primary texts

Secondary literature

Individual evidence

  1. La Philosophie de l'Histoire - The Philosophy of History . EA Changuion, Amsterdam 1765, 8 °; VIII, (II), 336 pp.
  2. See Lorenz B. Puntel : Structure and Being . Tübingen 2006, pp. 432–476 and Alwin Diemer : Grundriss der Philosophie . Vol. II. Meisenheim am Glan 1964, pp. 130-197.
  3. Cf. Oswald Schwemmer : Geschichtsphilosophie . In: Jürgen Mittelstraß (Ed.): Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science , Volume 1. 1980.
  4. For a critical overview of these various structural models, cf. now David Engels , Biologistic and Cyclical Philosophy of History. A structural approach, in: ders. (Ed.), From Plato to Fukuyama. Biologistic and cyclical concepts in the philosophy of history of antiquity and the west, Brussels 2015, 8–46.
  5. If the possibility of periodising history is recognized at all, more or less rough grids such as ancient, medieval and modern times dominate. There is also a parallelization of individual and universal history, for example where childhood, manhood and old age are spoken of in human history. See, for example, GWF Hegel: Lectures on the Philosophy of History .
  6. ^ Cicero: De legibus I 1.5
  7. Angehrn, p. 46.
  8. Angehrn, p. 64.
  9. Ibid.
  10. "Ce qui n'est pas dans la nature n'est jamais vrai." (What does not exist in nature is never true.) Quoted in Angehrn, p. 46.
  11. Angehrn, p. 71.
  12. Angehrn, p. 72.
  13. Angehrn, p. 76.
  14. Immanuel Kant: Idea for a story with cosmopolitan intent . quoted after Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 114.
  15. "Now I assert to the human race according to the aspects and omens of our day the achievement of this purpose and herewith at the same time the progression of the same for the better, which from then on is no longer completely reversible, even without being able to predict the spirit of the vision." ibid., p. 136.
  16. In the conceptualization of this prognosis, however, there is also talk of “a future large state body” and a general cosmopolitan state. (Ibid. P. 125)
  17. Quoted after ibid p. 120.
  18. Cf. Angehrn p. 80 and for illustration the final chapter (“Decision”) in: Immanuel Kant: Renewed question: Whether the human race is constantly progressing for the better . In Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 142.
  19. ^ Johann Gottlieb Fichte : The basics of the present age . First lecture. In Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 217.
  20. Quoted after Angehrn, p. 89.
  21. Quoted after Angehrn, p. 90.
  22. See Angehrn, pp. 90f.
  23. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: The general concept of the philosophical world history . Quoted in Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 235.
  24. Quoted after Angehrn, p. 93.
  25. G. Hegel "Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences in Outlines", Frankfurt am Main, 1970, ISBN 3-518-09718-0 , p. 226
  26. G. Hegel: “Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences in Outlines”, Frankfurt am Main, 1970, ISBN 3-518-09718-0 , pp. 223-224
  27. G. Hegel: "Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences in Outlines", Frankfurt am Main, 1970, ISBN 3-518-09718-0 , p. 225 [emphasis in original]
  28. Hegel in Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 241.
  29. Hegel, cit. n. Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 243.
  30. E. Angehrn: “Philosophy of History. An Introduction ”, Basel, 2012, ISBN 978-3796528255 , p. 93
  31. See Hegel in Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 94.
  32. Hegel, cit. n. Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 259.
  33. M. Schloßberger: Geschichtsphilosophie , Berlin, 2013, ISBN 978-3-05-004549-8 , p. 154
  34. ^ E. Angehrn: Philosophy of History. An introduction , Basel, 2012, ISBN 978-3796528255 , p. 98
  35. Hegel, quoted after. Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 237.
  36. Hegel, quoted after. Rossmann, dtv edition 1969, p. 236.
  37. 11 th thesis on Feuerbach.
  38. ^ From: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels : Manifesto of the Communist Party . 1848.
  39. Angehrn, p. 106.
  40. The dogmatic constrictions that occurred in connection with the development of Soviet communism cannot simply be credited to Marx's account.
  41. Angehrn 1991, p. 163.
  42. René Guénon: La crise du monde moderne ( The crisis of the modern age ). 1927
  43. ^ Julius Evola: Rivolta contro il mondo moderno . 1934. German editions: Survey against the modern world . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1935; New translation: Revolt against the modern world . Ansata-Verlag, Interlaken 1982, ISBN 3-7157-0056-4 .
  44. Claus Dettelbacher: In the mulberry grove: The doctrine of the 4 world ages: Introduction to the traces of cyclical time. Reception, interfaces, philosophy of history - with constant consideration for Julius Evola . BoD, Norderstedt 2008, ISBN 978-3-8370-6253-3 . (Extended diploma thesis at the University of Vienna)
  45. Paul Barth : The philosophy of history as sociology. Foundation and critical overview . 3rd / 4th Edition. GR Reisland, Leipzig 1922, dedicated to Ferdinand Tönnies [...]
  46. See, for example, Anacker, Baumgartner: Geschichte . In: Handbook of basic philosophical concepts .
  47. Angehrn 1991, p. 157. Angehrn sums up: "Gadamer's hermeneutics is currently the most representative draft of a general theory of historicity, which at the same time inscribes itself in the context of a fundamental reflection on the humanities." (Ibid., P. 158)