Pattern and Meaning in History (RLE Social Theory): Wilhelm Dilthey's Thoughts on History and Society

1st Edition

H.P. Rickman

Published December 21, 2015
Reference - 168 Pages
ISBN 9781138994799 - CAT# Y210658
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Social Theory

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'One may state Dilthey's significance in most general fashion by characterizing his work as the first thorough-going and sophisticated confrontation of history with positivism and natural science. Dilthey's sweep was universal: he strove to reduce to order the multifarious realms of knowledge, the conflicting traditions of cultural study, that he had embraced. Thus Dilthey laid out a program that no mortal – and certainly no one whose mind had been formed in the third quarter of the nineteenth century – could hope to bring to completion. Yet despite its inconclusiveness, Dilthey's work exerted enormous influence. The distinction he had drawn between natural and cultural science became standard for historians and, to a lesser extent, for social scientists also. After Dilthey historians no longer needed to apologize for the "unscientific" character of their discipline: they understood why its methods could never be quite the same as those of natural science. And the contemporary tradition of intellectual history grew naturally out of Dilthey's teaching.' – H. Stuart Hughes


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