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This article analyses Frank Ankersmit’s Dutch-language writings in the context of Dutch debates on historical theory. In the 1970s and 1980s historical theory became a flourishing discipline in the Netherlands; it was a compulsory part of all history programmes in the country, and all history departments employed one or more historical theorists. The Dutch theoretical debates of the 1970s and 1980s mainly dealt with the relation between history and the social sciences. In these debates Ankersmit defended the traditional historicist conception of historiography, while developing philosophical views that would remain important in his later work. Especially relevant in this respect is his critique of linguistic transcendentalism. This view is already present in his earliest writings in the 1970s, but it also informs his work on historical representation of the late 1980s and 1990s, and it is very important in his analysis of historical experience, which has its roots in his Dutch writings of the mid-1990s.

In: Journal of the Philosophy of History
In: The Long Quarrel
Past and Present in the Eighteenth Century
Editors: and
The Long Quarrel: Past and Present in the Eighteenth Century examines how the intellectual clashes emerging from the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns continued to reverberate until the end of the eighteenth century. This extended Quarrel was not just about the value of ancient and modern, but about historical thought in a broader sense. The tension between ancient and modern expanded into a more general tension between past and present, which were no longer seen as essentially similar, but as different in nature. Thus, a new kind of historical consciousness came into being in the Long Quarrel of the eighteenth century, which also gave rise to new ideas about knowledge, art, literature and politics.

Contributors are: Jacques Bos, Anna Cullhed, Håkon Evju, Vera Faßhauer, Andrew Jainchill, Anton M. Matytsin, Iain McDaniel, Larry F. Norman, David D. Reitsam, Jan Rotmans, Friederike Voßkamp, and Christine Zabel.