Historical Representation: F.R. Ankersmit
This book fully recognizes the aestheticism inherent in historical writing while acknowledging its claim to satisfy the demands of rational and scientific inquiry. Focusing on the notion of representation and on the necessity of distinguishing between representation and description, it argues that the traditional semantic apparatus of meaning, truth, and reference that we use for description must be redefined if we are to understand properly the nature of historical writing.
The author shows that historical representation is essentially aesthetic, though its adequacy can be discussed rationally. He defines the criteria for representational adequacy, and examines the relationship between these criteria and value judgments. He also investigates the historicist conception of historical writing and the notions of identity and narrativity. This investigation takes place against the backdrop of the ideas of four of the most influential contemporary historical theorists: Erich Auerbach, Arthur Danto, Hayden White, and Jörn Rüsen.
The book aims to identify and to explore for historical theory the juste milieu between the extravagances of the literary approach to historical writing and the narrow-mindedness of empiricists. The search for this juste milieu leads to a rationalist aesthetics of historical writing, a position that repeats both the aesthetic dimension of all historical writing and the criteria defining the rationality of the discipline of history.
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aesthetic Alltagsgeschichte argued argument Auerbach Brillo box chapter cognitive coherence commemoration conception contemporary historical criteria Danto Decline and Fall deconstructivism discipline discourse discussion domain empirical empiricist Enlightenment historical writing epistemological ethical example experience F. R. Ankersmit fact figura Gibbon Hayden White Hence historians historical reality historical representation historical text historical theory historist Holocaust human Ibid ideal identity individual kind kitsch language linguistic turn literary theory logical meaning memory ment metamorphosis metaphor Mimesis monument moral narrative narrativist nature object obviously ontology Ovid Ovid's painting paradox perspective philosophical philosophy of history philosophy of language point of view political postmodernist precisely present problem question rationality realism reference relationship Renaissance repre represented resemblance theory Revolution Riisen Rome sense sentation speak style sublime substance substitution theory theorists things tion torical transversal reason Tropology true statement truth tween variant whereas White writing of history Yad Vashem
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