Historical Representation by F. R. Ankersmit
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Historical Representation
By F. R. Ankersmit

Historical Representation

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Format: Paperback

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Historical Representation by F. R. Ankersmit

Book Description

This book fully recognizes the aestheticism inherent in historical writing while acknowledging its claim to satisfy the demands of rational and scientific inquiry. Focusing on the notion of representation and on the necessity of distinguishing between representation and description, it argues that the traditional semantic apparatus of meaning, truth, and reference that we use for description must be redefined if we are to understand properly the nature of historical writing. The author shows that historical representation is essentially aesthetic, though its adequacy can be discussed rationally. He defines the criteria for representational adequacy, and examines the relationship between these criteria and value judgments. He also investigates the historicist conception of historical writing and the notions of identity and narrativity. This investigation takes place against the backdrop of the ideas of four of the most influential contemporary historical theorists: Erich Auerbach, Arthur Danto, Hayden White, and Jorn Rusen. The book aims to identify and to explore for historical theory the juste milieu between the extravagances of the literary approach to historical writing and the narrow-mindedness of empiricists. The search for this juste milieu leads to a rationalist aesthetics of historical writing, a position that repeats both the aesthetic dimension of all historical writing and the criteria defining the rationality of the discipline of history.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780804739801
ISBN-10: 0804739803
Format: Paperback
(5830mm x 3895mm x 18mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Stanford University Press
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publish Date: 2-Jan-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Books By Author F. R. Ankersmit

Sublime Historical Experience by F. R. Ankersmit Sublime Historical Experience, Paperback (February 2005)

Why are we interested in history at all? Why do we feel the need to distinguish between past and present? This book investigates how the notion of sublime historical experience complicates and challenges existing conceptions of language, truth, and knowledge.

» View all books by F. R. Ankersmit

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Author Biography - F. R. Ankersmit

Frank Ankersmit is Professor of History at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Among his many books are Political Representation (Stanford, 2001) and Aesthetic Politics: Political Philosophy Beyond Fact and Value (Stanford, 1997)

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