On Historical and Political Knowing: An Inquiry into Some Problems of Universal Law & Human Freedom

On Historical and Political Knowing: An Inquiry into Some Problems of Universal Law & Human Freedom

On Historical and Political Knowing: An Inquiry into Some Problems of Universal Law & Human Freedom

On Historical and Political Knowing: An Inquiry into Some Problems of Universal Law & Human Freedom

Excerpt

This book is neither a technical treatise nor a systematic work in the philosophy of history. Its origin lies in my interests in scientific method and systems theory as applied to the social sciences, in the roles of theory, universal laws, and accounts of particular events, as well as in more general problems of human freedom. I shall return more specifically to these interests later in the preface and, of course, in the book.

The more I thought about these problems, the more it appeared that many current misconceptions concerning them lie, at least in part, in the realm of philosophy. Many of these misconceptions have a common core that I believe can be clarified by philosophical analysis. Because this is my purpose, I do not care to dilute the insights I hope this book provides, or to lose the readers to whom it is primarily addressed, by a concern with the detailed implications of my positions or with their detailed interrelationships, as important as these tasks undoubtedly would be in a different work. Admittedly, this runs the risk that some topics are covered "once over lightly," but this is the risk that I prefer to take in the effort to help redirect modern social science from some important theoretical mistakes and to save much effort . . .

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