Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History

Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History

by Darrin M. McMahon
     
 

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Modern European intellectual history is thriving as never before. It has recovered from an era in which other trends like social and cultural history threatened to marginalize it. But in spite of enjoying a contemporary renaissance, the field has lost touch with the tradition of debating why and how to study ideas and thus lacks both a well-articulated set of… See more details below

Overview


Modern European intellectual history is thriving as never before. It has recovered from an era in which other trends like social and cultural history threatened to marginalize it. But in spite of enjoying a contemporary renaissance, the field has lost touch with the tradition of debating why and how to study ideas and thus lacks both a well-articulated set of purposes and a range of arguments for exactly what it means to pursue those purposes. This volume revives that tradition.

Recalling past attempts to showcase the diversity and differentiation of modern European intellectual history, this volume also documents how much has changed in recent decades. Some authors are much readier to defend a history of ideas practiced over the long term - once the defining sin of the field. Others go so far as to insist on how ideas are always open to reappropriation and reevaluation beyond their original contexts - suggesting that it is an error to reduce the ideas to those contexts. Others still argue that, under threat from trends like social history, intellectual historians have forsaken any attempt to resolve for themselves how ideas are socially embodied.

The volume also registers old and new trends in history that have affected the study of ideas, including the history of science, the history of academic disciplines, the history of psychology and "self," international and global history, and women's and gender history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This rich collection of articles explores the relatively recent past of the intellectual history of modern Europe in intriguing ways.... All of the authors are intellectually engaged with what intellectual history offers, intrigued by its future prospects, and aware of possible pitfalls of applying their proposals uncritically....This collection documents a field in an exciting state of evolution with many intriguing paths open to scholars and will be invaluable for anyone interested in understanding the current state of intellectual history. Many scholars will doubtless appreciate the clear paths through recent historiography of the various themes and sub-disciplines this collection treats. They will find a guide, a bibliography, and a thoughtful analysis of topics they might wish to pursue in their own work." --Kathleen Wellman, H-France

"Provocative.... [This volume] challenge[s] readers to think broadly and critically about historical knowledge, but [it] also show[s] specifically how a new generation of intellectual historians is revitalizing an eclectic sub-discipline that never stays the same and never disappears." --Canadian Journal of History

"At the crossroads of many disciplines, intellectual history has emerged as a vital stimulus to the humanities as a whole. Shedding the residues of cultural condescension, European intellectual history in particular has come to be an endlessly renewable resource for creative thinking across the globe. As this lively volume amply demonstrates, it has a bright future in the hands of a new generation of gifted practitioners." --Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

"Over thirty years have passed since the last major attempt to reassess the field of modern European intellectual history. In light of the seeming eclipse of some orientations (such as Marxism), the reformulation of others (such as psychoanalysis), and the newer turns in the field (from the linguistic to the postsecular and the global), the time is certainly ripe for a new assessment. This volume will hold a key place in further efforts to 'rethink' the field both as a collection of significant contributions and as a focal point for constructive, critical debate." --Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University

"The study of modern intellectual history is gripped by the paradoxes of success. While scholarship in this area has flourished over the past generation, it has become so sprawling an enterprise that its very identity is in question. Perfectly timed to address the growing need for self-reflection in the field, Rethinking Modern European Intellectual History provides at once a map of the discipline, a meditation on its history, and a provocation to new thinking and writing on the history of European ideas. This collection is sure to become a landmark, not just for European intellectual historians, but for anyone with an interest in the history of ideas." --Joel Isaac, author of Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199769247
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/14/2014
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,360,633
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.20(d)

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