The Riddle of History: The Great Speculators from Vico to Freud

The Riddle of History: The Great Speculators from Vico to Freud

The Riddle of History: The Great Speculators from Vico to Freud

The Riddle of History: The Great Speculators from Vico to Freud

Excerpt

Philosophy of history is interdisciplinary by its very nature. It assumes a willingness to use the epistemological and metaphysical assumptions of philosophy in an attempt to understand and give meaning to the empirical data of history. On occasion, the current is presumed to run the other way, and history to reveal the correct nature of philosophy. In any case, those who enter this boundless land must appeal to the more settled territories of knowledge on each side for intellectual provisioning, if not for steady support. As a result, one is always in debt in philosophy of history to countless and generally unnamed philosophers and historians. I should like to acknowledge this debt in one gesture here.

My especial indebtedness to the great speculators with whom I deal should be obvious in the pages devoted to them. In an effort to leave the pages uncluttered, however, I have made as few footnote citations to the actual works treated as possible: where the references, for example, are to one or two major works of the speculator, such as to Vico New Science and Autobiography, I have assumed that the reader will get at the full text for himself and spot the passages again as he reads there; where the references, as in Marx, are to various scattered works, I have felt more obliged to cite them. In the end, I succumbed to the scholar's fondness more than I had intended originally; and in many of these footnotes, I have cited . . .

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