Essays in the philosophy of history

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University of Texas Press, 1965 - History - 160 pages
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Croces Philosophy of History
Are History and Science Different Kinds
4 Oswald Spengler and the Theory

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About the author (1965)

Robin George Collingwood was a remarkable thinker who sought to bridge the gulf that Charles Darwin's discoveries appeared to have set up between science and religion in the nineteenth century. He began to study Latin at age 4, Greek at 6, and the natural sciences shortly afterward. He attended Oxford University, where he studied philosophy, classics, archeology, and history: Participation in numerous archeological excavations allowed him to see, he said, "the importance of the questioning activity in life," and he became a respected scholar on the subject of Britain under the Roman conquest. His first-rate work in archeology resulted in a number of books including Roman Britain (1921), The Archaeology of Roman Britain (1930, with Ian Richmond), Roman Britain and the English Settlements (1937, with J.N. Myres), and Roman Inscriptions of Britain (1965, with R. P. Wright). Collingwood was also an artist by nature - a fine, disciplined writer who was actively interested in music and the pictorial arts. He deplored the diversiveness of increasing specialization and sought a philosophy that would harmonize all knowledge and a religion "scientific" in nature in which faith and reason each played a role. He felt that the Renaissance had mistakenly separated the various disciplines of study and that a close unity existed among them. He began as an idealist, and his thought reflects the influence of individual idealists, in the case of art, for example, the influence of Benedetto Croce. In his mature period, Collingwood sought to ground all the special sciences on idealist foundations, to ascertain within the dialectical function of mind the unity of religion, science, history, art, and philosophy. In his last years, however, Collingwood became critical of idealism. His ethical and political views grew somber, and pessimism seemed to overwhelm him.

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