History of ideas

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The history of ideas deals with the emergence and further development as well as the effect of epoch-typical mentalities on the one hand and scientific ideas and approaches on the other. In the latter case, it is a metascience that is part of the history of science .


As part of the history of political ideas , the political ideas and concepts developed since antiquity are scientifically examined. It therefore functions as the history of science in political science. Beyond the history of philosophy, there are also sub-disciplines of the history of ideas in other areas of science.

In Germany, Friedrich Meinecke , who further developed the history of ideas as a historical approach from traditional intellectual history , is one of its most important representatives. Under significant influence of his students on the one developed after the Second World War in the United States approach social history of ideas ( social history of ideas ).

During the Weimar Republic, the German literary historian Hermann August Korff published the work Geist der Goethezeit in 1923 , in which he tried to grasp the history of ideas as a history of ideas. He wrote: “So the book is consciously a history of ideas , not a history of literature in the usual sense (the inherent rights of which are not intended to be affected in any way). But it is a history of ideas with a special right, because it is based on the view that our Classical-Romantic poetry can only be illuminated essentially through a consideration of the history of ideas. "Korff saw the history of ideas as a story that goes beyond the history of literature. For, according to him, the objects of the history of ideas are not only manifest in the history of literature, but are latently or openly present in all cultural phenomena.

In the course of the linguistic turn , the traditional history of ideas was accused of neglecting historical discontinuities, social contexts and linguistic constituents of general “ideas”. In addition to the social history of ideas, the so-called conceptual history is a reaction to these methodological problems.

Important journals for the topic are the American Journal of the History of Ideas , which has been published since 1940, and the Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte (since 2007).


Historical development

  • D. Timothy Goering: Introduction. History of ideas and intellectual history in Germany - a definition of the situation , in: History of ideas today. Traditions and Perspectives , ed. by D. Timothy Goering, Bielefeld 2017, ISBN 978-3-8376-3924-7 , pp. 7-54.

General introductions

  • Terence Ball, Richard Bellamy (Ed.): The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2003, ISBN 0-521-56354-2 .
  • Mark Bevir: The Logic of the History of Ideas. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1999, ISBN 0-521-64034-2 .
  • Klaus von Beyme : Political history of ideas. Problems of an interdisciplinary research area. Mohr (Siebeck), Tübingen 1969.
  • David Boucher: Texts in Context. Revisionist Methods for Studying the History of Ideas. Springer, Dordrecht 1985, ISBN 90-247-3121-6 .
  • Stefan Collini: What is Intellectual History? In: History Today. Vol. 35, 1985, ISSN  0018-2753 , pp. 46-54.
  • Robert Darnton : Intellectual and Cultural History. In: Michael Kammen (Ed.): The Past Before Us. Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States. Cornell University Press, Ithaca / London 1980, ISBN 0-8014-1224-2 , pp. 327-354.
  • Andreas Dorschel : History of ideas. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-8252-3314-3 .
  • Anthony Grafton : The History of Ideas. Precept and Practice, 1950-2000 and Beyond. In: Journal of the History of Ideas . Vol. 67, 2006, No. 1, pp. 1-32.
  • David Harlan: Intellectual History and the Return of Literature. In: The American Historical Review . Vol. 94, 1989, pp. 581-609.
  • John Higham, Paul K. Conkin (Eds.): New Directions in American Intellectual History. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1979, ISBN 0-8018-2460-5 .
  • Martin Jay : Two Cheers for Paraphrase. The Confessions of a Synoptic Intellectual Historian. In: Stanford Literature Review. Vol. 3, 1986, No. 1, ISSN  0886-666X , pp. 52-63.
  • Dominick LaCapra : Rethinking Intellectual History. Texts, contexts, language. Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1990, ISBN 0-8014-9886-4 .
  • Marcus Llanque : History of Political Ideas. A fabric of political discourse. Oldenbourg, Munich / Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-486-58471-4 .
  • Pietro Piovani : Philosophy and History of Ideas . Translated from the Italian and edited. by Michael Walter Hebeisen. Swiss Science and University Publishing House, Biel 2010, ISBN 978-3-8391-7982-6 .
  • Ralph Weber, Martin Beckstein: Political history of ideas. Interpretation approaches in practice. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / UTB, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-8252-4174-2 .
  • Richard Whatmore, Brian Young (Eds.): Palgrave Advances in Intellectual History. Palgrave, Basingstoke 2006, ISBN 1-4039-3900-4 .
  • Reinhold Zippelius : History of the state ideas. 10th edition, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-49494-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Heinz Gockel: History of literature as a history of ideas. Lectures and essays. Würzburg 2005, ISBN 3-8260-2974-7 , p. 9.
  2. See for example Mark Bevir, Hans Erich Bödeker (Ed.): Concept history, discourse history, history of metaphors. Wallstein, Göttingen 2002, p. 9 ff .; Kari Palonen: Conceptual History and / as Political Science. In: Archive for the history of concepts . Vol. 44, 2002, pp. 221-234.