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The eighteen essays in this volume illustrate the four theses of Koselleck's concept of history. First, historical process is marked by a distinctive kind of temporality different from that found in nature. This temporality is multileveled and subject to different rates of acceleration and deceleration, and functions not only as a matrix within which historical events happen but also as a causal force in the determination of social reality in its own right.
Second, historical reality is social reality, an internally differentiated structure of functional relationships in which the rights and interests of one group collide with those of other groups, and lead to the kinds of conflict in which defeat is experienced as an ethical failure requiring reflection on "what went wrong" to determine the historical significance of the conflict itself.
Third, the history of historiography is a history of the evolution of the language of historians. In this respect, Koselleck's work converges with that of Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida, all of whom stress the status of historiography as discourse rather than as discipline, and feature the constitutive nature of historical discourse as against its claim to literal truthfulness.
Finally, the fourth aspect of Koselleck's notion of the concept of history is that a properly historicist concept of history is informed by the realization that what we call modernity is nothing more than an aspect of the discovery of history's concept in our age. The aporias of modernism—in arts and letters as well as in the human and natural sciences—are a function of the discovery of the historicity of both society and knowledge.
|1||On the Need for Theory in the Discipline of History||1|
|2||Social History and Conceptual History||20|
|3||Introduction to Hayden White's Tropics of Discourse||38|
|4||Transformations of Experience and Methodological Change: A Historical-Anthropological Essay||45|
|5||The Temporalization of Utopia||84|
|6||Time and History||100|
|7||Concepts of Historical Time and Social History||115|
|8||The Unknown Future and the Art of Prognosis||131|
|9||Remarks on the Revolutionary Calendar and Neue Zeit||148|
|10||The Eighteenth Century as the Beginning of Modernity||154|
|11||On the Anthropological and Semantic Structure of Bildung||170|
|12||Three burgerliche Worlds? Preliminary Theoretical-Historical Remarks on the Comparative Semantics of Civil Society in Germany, England, and France||208|
|13||"Progress" and "Decline": An Appendix to the History of Two Concepts||218|
|14||Some Questions Regarding the Conceptual History of "Crisis"||236|
|15||The Limits of Emancipation: A Conceptual-Historical Sketch||248|
|16||Daumier and Death||265|
|17||War Memorials: Identity Formations of the Survivors||285|
|18||Afterword to Charlotte Beradt's The Third Reich of Dreams||327|