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The Ontological Backlash: why did mainstream analytic philosophy lose interest in the philosophy of history?

D'Oro

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Abstract

This paper seeks to explain why mainstream analytic philosophy lost interest in the philosophy of history. It suggests that the reasons why the philosophy of history no longer commands the attention of mainstream analytical philosophy may be explained by the success of an ontological backlash against the linguistic turn and a view of philosophy as a form of conceptual analysis. In brief I argue that in the 1950s and 1960s the philosophy of history attracted the interest of mainstream analytical philosophers because the defence of the autonomy of historical explanation championed by the likes of Collingwood, Dray, Melden, Winch, Von Wright and others was in tune with the predominant conception of philosophy as a conceptual enterprise concerned primarily with clarifying different explanatory practices. As this conception of philosophy as an essentially conceptual enterprise became recessive, the purely methodological non-reductivism advocated by defenders of the autonomy of history was accused of ontological escapism and the discussion concerning the autonomy of psychological explanations became the province of the philosophy of mind and action.

Citation

D'Oro. (2008). The Ontological Backlash: why did mainstream analytic philosophy lose interest in the philosophy of history?. Philosophia, 403 -415. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-008-9135-7

Acceptance Date Apr 14, 2008
Publication Date Dec 1, 2008
Journal PHILOSOPHIA
Print ISSN 0048-3893
Publisher Springer Verlag
Pages 403 -415
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-008-9135-7
Keywords Ontological backlash, Philosophy of history, Philosophy of action.
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-008-9135-7

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