Collingwood's Idea of History & Speculum Mentis

987baz

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Thanks for the recommendation Laura, I have added it to me reading list :)

And thanks DBZ for the epub!
 

Zar

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Great recommendation, I'll be reading it soon as well.
 

Séamas

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Laura said:
Yes, the copyright on this one has run out. I have an ebook version but it is too big to attach.
Great to know, I was about to buy it but now I will save the money for a different book.

Divide By Zero said:
Good to know the copyright ran out.

Here is the epub format book zipped up as attachment.
Thanks DBZ!! Time to get to work... :read:
 

Redrock12

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Ordered it last Friday from my local book dealer. Presently reading Shiller's Origin of Life. Fascinating but tough slugging. Then again, anything that increases one's knowledge, while being informing, is not going to always be a page-turner. For me, anyway.
 

Pashalis

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

I'm also about 10% in and here is his summary of the four characteristics of history, he describes as:

The four characteristics of history which I enumerated in the Introduction were (a) that it is scientific, or begins by asking questions, whereas the writer of legends begins by knowing something and tells what he knows; (b) that it is humanistic, or asks questions about things done by men at determinate times in the past; (c) that it is rational, or bases the answers which it gives to its questions on grounds, namely appeal to evidence; (d) that it is self-revelatory, or exists in order to tell man what man is by telling him what man has done.
 

Laura

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Redrock12 said:
Ordered it last Friday from my local book dealer. Presently reading Shiller's Origin of Life. Fascinating but tough slugging. Then again, anything that increases one's knowledge, while being informing, is not going to always be a page-turner. For me, anyway.
This is true more often than not. I slog through stuff that nobody else would ever read. And very often, my dedication is rewarded with a bit of information, a concept, or a clue that is invaluable.
 

Aeneas

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Thanks for the recommendation of this book, it sounds very interesting.

Divide By Zero said:
Good to know the copyright ran out.

Here is the epub format book zipped up as attachment.
Thanks DbZ for the zipped version.
 

mabar

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Gaby said:
Alejo said:
I actually realized that this morning... woke up and picked it up and then found myself having to read a paragraph and stop for a few minutes. It might be in part due to the writing style but the concepts themselves require some clearer attention.
Bought the Spanish version for the time being. Hopefully the translation is a good one.
Bought the Spanish version too, the one of the Fondo de Cultura Económica . Thanks for the recommendation Laura, I had found through these years to like to read history and around it, seems to be a difficult book but, I think I am ready to do it.
 

Bluefyre

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Thanks for the recommendation Laura. I've just ordered the ebook. Looking forward to it!
 

SeekinTruth

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

I'm up to page 110, and find it a really fascinating read. His descriptions of Vico's approach to figuring out history I read yesterday seemed very similar to the ways Laura methodically "stalks" all the different types of clues.
 

genero81

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Just saw this thread - bought the book on Kindle, will start soon- reading the latest volume of the transcribed transcripts. So much to read!
 

Séamas

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Here are my notes from reading the introduction yesterday:

My Notes said:
Chapter 1: Introduction

Positivism: a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism.

Epistemology: the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

Metaphysics: the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.

Differences between psychology, history and philosophy:
“Thought in its relation to its object is not mere thought but knowledge; thus, what is for psychology the theory of mere thought, of mental events in abstraction from any object, is for philosophy the theory of knowledge. Where the psychologist asks himself: How do historians think? the philosopher asks himself: How do historians know? How do they come to apprehend the past? Conversely, it is the historian’s business, not the philosopher’s, to apprehend the past as a thing in itself, to say for example that so many years ago such-and-such events actually happened. The philosopher is concerned with these events not as things in themselves but as things known to the historian, and to ask, not what kind of events they were and when and where they took place, but what it is about them that makes it possible for historians to know them.”
Philosophy of History is not History (it does not seek to understand historical events in and of themselves) and it is not Psychology (it does not seek to understand the thought process of Historians). It seeks to examine Historians' way of knowing.

“For the philosopher, the fact demanding attention is neither the past by itself, as it is for the historian, nor the historian’s thought about it by itself, as it is for the psychologist, but the two things in their mutual relation.”
A new type of philosophy is needed because the three existing types are not sufficient for studying the historical type of knowledge. These three existing types of philosophy are:
1. Philosophy based on mathematical logic
2. Theology
3. Science/Naturalism

History as a science, as we know it, is relatively new (1800s)

History is a special form of thought, philosophical questions about it may only be answered by people who are both historians and philosophers
There are four questions about history that need answering:
1. What is history? → a kind of research or inquiry, a way of answering questions about past events
2. What is history about? → actions of human beings that may have been done in the past
3. How does history proceed? → by the interpretation of evidence, ie documents
4. What is history for? → human self-knowledge (! this is a bit of a surprise to me)

“history is ‘for’ human self-knowledge. It is generally thought to be of importance to man that he should know himself: where knowing himself means knowing not his merely personal peculiarities, the things that distinguish him from other men, but his nature as man. Knowing yourself means knowing, first, what it is to be a man; secondly, knowing what it is to be the kind of man you are; and thirdly, knowing what it is to be the man you are and nobody else is. Knowing yourself means knowing what you can do; and since nobody knows what he can do until he tries, the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is.”
“Historians nowadays think that history should be (a) a science, or an answering of questions; (b) concerned with human actions in the past; (c) pursued by interpretation of evidence; and (d) for the sake of human self-knowledge.”
History “is self-revelatory, or exists in order to tell man what man is by telling him what man has done.”

Did the ancients have history? → not as we know it. They had something “which in certain ways resembled history” referred to as “historiography” in the text. Documents from ancient history do not answer questions and are not the fruits of research, rather they merely contain assertions of what the writer already knows.

This is my attempt to summarize important points and illustrative quotes so I can remember them later. I'm interested in feedback/discussion if I'm off base or missed something important and I hope this is helpful for anyone who doesn't have time to read the chapter.
 

Laura

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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Seamas said:
Here are my notes from reading the introduction yesterday:

<snip>

This is my attempt to summarize important points and illustrative quotes so I can remember them later. I'm interested in feedback/discussion if I'm off base or missed something important and I hope this is helpful for anyone who doesn't have time to read the chapter.
Well, the most important parts of the book, to me, are in the second half when he gets deeply into the workings of "mind". The fact that he is approaching it via history is important, but almost to the side of what I think is most important.

I'm now reading "In Defense of History" by Evans and he points out, rightly, that Collingwood was a bit too attached to political history as being the only kind of history. But of course, Collingwood's point was more metaphysical, I think; it's as though he was describing "mind" - in the sense of collective mind - being the real object of history. And I think he was onto something.

For those who want some good insights into the postmodernist silliness, do read the just mentioned book by Evans. He provides some direct quotes and I swear, the postmodernists come across as certifiable... the ravings of the inmates of asylums.
 

Séamas

The Living Force
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Re: Extraordinary, Important Book for those Doing The Work

Laura said:
Well, the most important parts of the book, to me, are in the second half when he gets deeply into the workings of "mind". The fact that he is approaching it via history is important, but almost to the side of what I think is most important.
Looking forward to the second half.
 
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