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“Absolutized Logic is Ideology”

Three German Perspectives on Analytic Philosophy in the 1960s and 1970s

In: Journal of the Philosophy of History
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This essay wishes to probe why in the 1960s and 1970s the German historical discipline did not integrate debates promoted by analytic philosophy into its own debates about theory of history (Geschichtstheorie), even though the topics debated by both camps were strikingly similar. I concentrate on the so-called Positivism Dispute, the Ritter School and research group “Poetik und Hermeneutik” (Poetics and Hermeneutics) and show how some of the writings of analytic philosophers were received and discussed. I conclude by suggesting that most German historians and philosophers did not principally object to the assertions or philosophical arguments made by analytic philosophers, rather they rejected the ethical posture or intellectual deportment attributed to the practice of analytical philosophy. The ideal of systematizing the facts of the world into a coherent system was rejected on the grounds that it postulated a moral self, ill-suited to engage the modern world.

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