The Idea of History is the best known work of the Oxford philosopher and historian RG Collingwood. Published posthumously in 1946 it is, in effect, two books: a historiography and a philosophy of history. Students look to Collingwood for a history of thinking about history, and to discover his ideas about the nature of historical understanding. It is an indispensable text for historians and philosophers yet it is also highly challenging and many of Collingwood's innovations have been seriously misunderstood. The primary focus of this book is on Collingwood's actual arguments, especially the most radical of these, with the aim of elucidating their construction and appraising them in the clearest possible way. This guide is the ideal companion to Collingwood's classic text both for students coming to it for the first time and for those wishing to consider its arguments afresh. It offers clear and concise accounts of the book's composition; the intellectual context of Collingwood's ideas; its central arguments concerning the nature of history; and its reception and influence.
An extensive scholarly literature, written in the past century holds that in ancient Greek and Roman thought history is understood as circular and repetitive - a consequence of their anti-temporal metaphysics - in contrast with Judaeo-Christian thought, which sees history as linear and unique - a consequence of their messianic and hence radically temporal theology. Gerald Press presents a more general view - that the Graeco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian cultures were fundamentally alien and opposed cultural forces and that, therefore, Christianity's victory over paganism included the replacement or supersession of one intellectual world by another - and then shows that, contrary to this view, there was substantial continuity between "pagan" and Christian ideas of history in antiquity, rather than a striking opposition between cyclic and linear patterns. He finds that the foundation of the Christian view of history as goal-directed lies in the rhetorical rather than the theological motives of early Christian writers.
From the eighteenth century onwards, the ancient Greek writer Thucydides (c 460 - c 395 BCE) was viewed as the most important classical historian. He was acclaimed not only as a vital source for reconstructing antiquity but as a purveyor of timeless political wisdom. His name is almost inescapable in nineteenth-century discussions of history's nature and purpose. And his spirit, or the image of him constructed by German historicists, remains a significant presence in more recent debates about historical method. It is remarkable, then, that the trajectory of Thucydides' modern reception has never been properly studied. Neville Morley here sets right that neglect. He examines different aspects of the reception of Thucydides within modern western historiography, casting fresh light on ideas about history and the historian in the contemporary world. His nuanced readings illuminate changing notions of the nature and purpose of history and of the historian's proper task. This latest volume in the I.B.Tauris New Directions in Classics series makes a bold and significant contribution to understandings of how to reclaim the past.
The concept of viewing historical change as a cyclical process is analyzed, beginning with the works of Polybius, historian of the Roman empire, and ending with Machiavelli, with an examination of the biblical concept of historical change
How scientific is economics? This question has often been framed by analogies and correspondences made between economics and other, seemingly more well-established scientific disciplines, starting with classical mechanics. At the same time economics is likely to be seen in opposition to or in contrast with history, where the reliance upon generalizing rules, thought experiments, and model construction in economics is set against the amassing of particular facts intended to create narratives in history. In this new volume, Turk explores the relationship between economics and history, including the often fraught one between economics and economic history, making the case that economics does in fact require the proper grounding in history that has so often been ignored. This work challenges the attempt to link economics with other, more clearly ‘scientific’ disciplines as flawed and fundamentally wrongheaded. A key element of this book is its examination of the gaps and associations that exist in, or are seen through, linkages with thermodynamics, classical mechanics , biology, literature, mathematics, philosophy, and sociology. This exploration is frequently undertaken through study of the work of one or more major figures in the history of economic thought, ranging from Quesnay and Smith, through Walras and Max Weber, to Robinson, Krugman, David, and Arthur. Through the possibility of an alternative to the gaps noted in each such comparison, the underlying, necessary connection between economics and history can be brought out. The book concludes by exploring the basis for the positive construction of a historical economics. This book is suited for those who study history of economic thought and philosophy of economics.
History provides one way of marking time, but there are others, like the Judaism of the dual Torah, set forth in the Rabbinic literature from the Mishnah through the Talmud of Babylonia, which tells the story of how a historical way of thinking about past, present, and future, time and eternity, the here and now in relationship to the ages gave way to another mode of thought altogether. At stake are  a conception of time different from the historical one and  premises on how to take the measure of time that form a legitimate alternative to those that define the foundations of the historical way of measuring time. Fully exposed, those alternative premises may prove as logical and compelling as the historical ones.