Philosophy of History, Marx
[Philosophy of History] Hegel, Philosophy of History

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Philosophy of History

The philosophy of history can focus on a number of questions such as:-

  • What is the proper unit for the study of the human past? the individual, the city or sovereign territory, the civilization, or nothing less than the whole of the species?
  • What broad patterns can we discern through the study of the human past? Are there, for example, patterns or cycles of progress?
  • what, if anything, is the driving force of history? -- If such an 'engine' exists is it driving toward 'progress'?
From this page you can proceed to others that principally concentrate on those aspects of the philosophy of history that concerns itself with asking what might be held to be patterns or driving forces in history:-

Famous quotations and quotes about
Learning from History

Emerson's call for a
transcendentalist approach
to the study of History

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Philosophy of History

Oswald Spengler
Decline of the West
Karl Marx
Historical Materialism
R G Collingwood
philosophy of history

Wilhelm Dilthey
Introduction to the Human Sciences

Arnold Toynbee
A Study of History
The Whig Interpretation
of History
Introductory quotations
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"Central" mysticism insights
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"Other" spiritual wisdom
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"Central" poetry insights
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"Other" poetry wisdom
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Spirituality & the wider world

Historical Idealism

Idealism is the philosophical theory which maintains that the ultimate nature of reality is based on the mind or ideas.

"...man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots,
whose flower and fruitage is the world..."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Whatever concept one may hold, from a metaphysical point of view, concerning the freedom of the will, certainly its appearances, which are human actions, like every other natural event, are determined by universal laws. However obscure their causes, history, which is concerned with narrating these appearances, permits us to hope that if we attend to the play of freedom of the human will in the large, we may be able to discern a regular movement in it, and that what seems complex and chaotic in the single individual may be seen from the standpoint of the human race as a whole to be a steady and progressive though slow evolution of its original endowment."
Immanuel Kant
Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View (1784)

Or to quote Emerson, from his famous Essay ~ History more fully:-
In old Rome the public roads beginning at the Forum proceeded north, south, east, west, to the centre of every province of the empire, making each market-town of Persia, Spain, and Britain pervious to the soldiers of the capital: so out of the human heart go, as it were, highways to the heart of every object in nature, to reduce it under the dominion of man. A man is a bundle of relations, a knot of roots, whose flower and fruitage is the world. His faculties refer to natures out of him, and predict the world he is to inhabit, as the fins of the fish foreshow that water exists, or the wings of an eagle in the egg presuppose air. He cannot live without a world.