1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Historical Theory

Edited By Chiel van den Akker Copyright 2022
    636 Pages
    by Routledge

    636 Pages
    by Routledge

    This Companion provides a wide-ranging and up-to-date overview of the conceptual issues that history as a discipline and mode of thought gives rise to.

    The book offers both historical and systematic treatments of these issues, as well as addressing their contemporary relevance. Structured in three parts – Modes and Schools of Historical Thought, Epistemology and Metaphysics of History, and Issues and Challenges in Historical Theory – it offers the reader a wide scope and expert treatment of each topic in this vibrant field that can be read in any order. An international team of experts both discuss the basis of their topic and present their own view, offering the reader a cutting-edge contribution while ensuring their chapters are of interest to both students and specialists in the field of historical theory and engaging with the very nature of historical thought, the metaphysics of historical existence, the politics of history-writing, and the intelligibility of the historical process.

    The volume is an indispensable companion to the study of history and essential reading for anyone interested in the reflection on the nature of history and our historical existence.

    Part 1: Modes and Schools of Historical Thought

    1. Historicism

    Frederick Beiser

    2. Hermeneutics

    Katherina Kinzel

    3. Marxism

    Enzo Traverso

    4. Idealism: With History in Mind

    James Connelly

    5. Positivism

    Franz L. Fillafer

    6. Phenomenology

    Veronica Vasterling

    7. Critical Theory

    Espen Hammer

    8. Narrativism

    Veronica Tozzi Thompson

    9. Pragmatism

    Serge Grigoriev

    10. Analytical Philosophy of History

    Paul A. Roth

    11. Postcolonial Theory: Then and Now

    Rochona Majumdar

    12. Psychoanalysis

    Brian Connolly

    Part 2: Epistemology and Metaphysics of History

    13. Contingency and Historical Inevitability 

    Jordan Daniels

    14. Imagination and Revision

    Giuseppina D’Oro & Jonas Ahlskog

    15. Objectivity and Relativism

    Reinbert Krol

    16. Constructivism and Realism

    Rik Peters

    17. Explanation

    Gunnar Schumann

    18. Interpretation

    David Weberman

    19. Representation

    Eugen Zeleňák

    20. Truth: What is it for?

    Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen

    21. Postmodernism: The “Crisis” of Narratives in the Historical Discipline

    Nancy Partner

    22. Ethics: Or Sharing History

    Jonathan Gorman

    23. Deconstruction: History, if there is History

    Joshua Kates

    24. Freedom and Agency

    Simon Lumsden

    Part 3: Issues and Challenges in Historical Theory

    25. Political Ideologies

    Edmund Neill

    26. Didactics

    Tyson Retz

    27. Big data

    Jo Guldi

    28. New Television and Film

    Martin Shuster

    29. Counterfactuals: A Typological Approach

    Gavriel D. Rosenfeld

    30. Globalisation/s

    Angelika Epple

    31. Teleology

    Anthony K. Jensen

    32. The Sublime

    Hans Kellner

    33. Experience

    Christophe Bouton 

    34. Memory

    Marek Tamm

    35. Time

    Victoria Fareld

    36. Presence

    Jacques Bos

    37. The End of History

    Eric Michael Dale


    Chiel van den Akker is Lecturer in Historical Theory at the Department of Art and Culture, History and Antiquities at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is the author of The Modern Idea of History and its Value. An Introduction (2020) and The Exemplifying Past. A Philosophy of History (2018).