Anton Froeyman


In this paper, I take up Herman Paul’s suggestion to analyze the process of writing history in terms of virtues. In contrast to Paul, however, I argue that the concept of virtue used here should not be based on virtue epistemology, but rather on virtue ethics. The reason is that virtue epistemology is discriminative towards non-cognitive virtues and incompatible with the Ankersmitian/Whitean view of historiography as a multivocal path from historical reality to historical representation. Virtue ethics on the other hand, more specifically those forms of virtue ethics which emphasize the uncodifiability thesis, is very capable of providing such an account. In order to make this somewhat more concrete, I distinguish four important traits of virtue ethics, and I try to make clear how these can be interpreted with respect to the writing of history.

Hermeneutics, Life and Dialogue

A Sketch of a Buberian Dialogue with the Past

Anton Froeyman

In this paper, I formulate an existentialist view on the dialogue with the past, based on the philosophy of Martin Buber. This view is meant to supplement the traditional, hermeneutical view on the dialogue with the past. In the first part of this paper, I argue that the traditional hermeneutic view on the dialogue with the past is somewhat restricted. In the work of people such as Schleiermacher, Dilthey or even Gadamer, dialogue is always regarded as a primarily cognitive event, focused on the “I” rather than the “you.” I argue that this means that they take only one aspect of the metaphor into account, and ignore the more existential dimension of dialogue. As an alternative, I use the philosophy of Martin Buber to formulate a point of view that does embrace the existential side of dialogue. I also compare the Buberian view of dialogue with that of Gadamer, and I suggest in which a Buberian historian would differ from a Gadamerian historian.

Berber Bevernage, Broos Delanote, Anton Froeyman and Kenan Van De Mieroop