The reality of the historical past - download pdf or read online

By Paul Ricoeur

ISBN-10: 0874621526

ISBN-13: 9780874621525

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I shall consider two of these, borrowed from professional historians concerned with fundamental reflection. '' 19 It is this use of the term "difference" that Paul Veyne emphasizes in L'Inventaire des Différences. In order for the individual to appear as difference, historical conceptualization must itself be conceived of as the search for and the positing of invariants, understanding by this term a stable correlation between a small number of variables capable of generating their own modifications.

49). This is why the Gegenüber takes on both functions belonging to the Page 38 Kantain limiting-concept. It excludes the idea of a ready-made past that would already be constructed in the documents; but it also excludes the conception of a Theodor Lessing for whom history alone would give a meaning to the meaningless (sinnlos), to the extent that the Gegenüber imposes a direction and a correction to historical research and even takes away the free choice of the historian with respect to his work of selecting and organizing.

14 This is a radical solution that dispells the problem instead of resolving it: what do the notions of process, acquisition, incorporation, development, and even criticism become if the event-character of the act of re-enactment is abolished? How can an act that abolishes its own difference in relation to the original creation still be called re-creation? By a rebound effect, the historicity of the act of taking possession reintroduces that of acquisition and poses anew, in an even sharper way, the question of the survival of the past in the present, without which there would by no reason to speak of re-enacting, rethinking, or recreating.

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The reality of the historical past by Paul Ricoeur


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