Historical study has traditionally been built around the placement of the human at the center of inquiry. The de-stabilized concepts of the human in contemporary thought challenge this configuration. However, the ways in which these challenges provoke new historical perspectives both expand and enrich historical study but are also weak and vulnerable in their concept of the human, lacking or omitting something valuable in our self-understanding. A Personalist Philosophy of History argues for a robust concept of personhood in our experience of the past as a way to resolve this conflict.
Focused on those who know history, rather than on the abstract properties of knowledge, it extends the moral agency of persons into non-human, trans-human, and deep history domains. It describes an approach to moral life through historical experience and study, rather than through abstractions. And it describes a kind of historiography that matches factual accuracy to both the constructed nature of understanding and to unavoidable moral purpose.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1.A Moral Turn 2. Personalism as a way to approach past actors 3. Philosophical issues in the philosophy of history 4. History: the long experience of moral obligation 5. A personalist philosophy of history
Bennett Gilbert is Senior Instructor in University Studies at Portland State University, USA.
"...the book constitutes a very learned effort to bring vital ideas for the future of the philosophy of history into the dialog. The philosophical background of the author is particularly steady, which is not always the case in this field, and the book raises problems whose solutions, or search for solutions, are not only of academic interest but contribute to our general understanding of what history and past are, as well as what our responsibilities are to our surroundings, extended to the past and the future. Hopefully, such concerns will not remain between theorists and philosophers of history but will “ring a bell” for practicing historians as well." - Theodor Pelekanidis, Metascience