Leibniz and the Philosophical Criticism of Historiography

in Journal of the Philosophy of History
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I begin here by discussing the role of Leibniz in historical thought, particularly in Frank Ankersmit’s representationalist philosophy of historiography. I then discuss Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen’s recent criticism of Ankersmit’s commitment to holism about the semantics of historiography. I argue that the criticism fails because Kuukkanen is not sufficiently sensitive to the Leibnizian foundation of Ankersmit’s holism. Ankersmit can absorb Kuukkanen’s criticisms into his Leibnizism. I conclude by suggesting that the philosophy of historiography needs to be connected to substantial projects in the philosophical criticism of historiography.

Leibniz and the Philosophical Criticism of Historiography

in Journal of the Philosophy of History

Sections

References

8

Fernand Braudel‘Histoire et Sociologie’ in Écrits sur l’histoireParis 1969 99 – my trans.

10

Frank Ankersmit‘History as the Science of the Individual’Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (2013) 213–425.

13

LeibnizMonadology28–43.

14

Lewis W. Spitz‘The Significance of Leibniz for Historiography’Journal of the History of Ideas 13 no. 3 (1953) 333–348. Spitz notes some exceptions to Leibniz’ lack of direct historiographical influence in the work of Droysen (335) and Gibbon (340).

17

AntognazzaLeibniz543–4.

18

AnkersmitNarrative Logic151.

19

AnkersmitNarrative Logic151.

20

AnkersmitNarrative Logic157; cf. Frank Ankersmit Meaning Truth and Reference in Historical Representation New York 2012 199–206.

23

Ankersmit‘History as the Science of the Individual’213–425; Frank Ankersmit & Marek Tamm ‘Leibnizian philosophy of history: a conversation’ Rethinking History 20 (4) 2016 499.

24

Frank Ankersmit & Marek Tamm‘Leibnizian philosophy of history: a conversation’ 499; cf. Ankersmit ‘History as the Science of the Individual’396–425. Ankersmit might be pleased to note Paul Ricoeur’s (critical) recognition of his Leibnizism in History Memory Forgetting Chicago 2004 277 & 563 and ‘Philosophies Critique de l’Histoire: Recherche explication écriture’ in G Fløistad (ed.) Philosophical Problems Today 1 1994 179–185 – but perhaps this helps to prove the rule.

25

Martin Jay‘Intention and Irony: The missed encounter between Hayden White and Quentin Skinner’History & Theory 52 (1) 2013 32–48.

26

Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen‘Why we need to move from truth-functionality to performativity in historiography’History & Theory 54 (2) 2015 229.

32

Kuukkanen‘Why we need to move’229. ‘Ns’ (pl. ‘Nss’) stands for ‘narratives substance’ Ankersmit’s earlier term for historical representations.

33

Cf. KuukkanenPostnarrativist75.

38

Cf. Frank Ankersmit‘History as the Science of the Individual’Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (2013) 396–425passim.

41

Cf. KuukkanenPostnarrativist85.

42

Kuukkanen‘Why we need to move’229–30; cf. Postnarrativist 44–7 68–75 89–96.

46

Crane‘Leibniz and the problem of consciousness’91; cf. Monadology §14 (on ‘les Cartesiens’).

47

Kuukkanen‘Why we need to move’230.

53

DaviesEuropexvii 1131.

58

KuukkanenPostnarrativist93 96; cf. Ankersmit on ‘transversal reason’ Historical Representation 8–11. This can account for what Kuukkanen calls ‘patterns of reasoning’ as well as guiding metaphors like sleepwalking; Kuukkanen Postnarrativist 93. These can be understood by Ankersmit as signposts built onto the historical representation.

63

AnkersmitNarrative Logic137.

69

KuukkanenPostnarrativist10.

70

KuukkanenPostnarrativist92–4.

72

KuukkanenPostnarrativist94; Chris Clark The Sleepwalkers xxix; cf. Ricoeur ‘Philosophies Critique de l’Histoire’ 139.

77

AnkersmitMeaning Truth and Reference250; Martin Jay ‘Intention and Irony: The missed encounter between Hayden White and Quentin Skinner’ History & Theory 52 (1) 2013; see e.g. Ricoeur Memory History Forgetting part ii and Temps et récit: L’Intrigue et le récit historique Paris 1984.

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