New Contributions to the Philosophy of History

Insights developed in the past two decades by philosophers of the social sciences can serve to enrich the challenging intellectual tasks of conceptualizing, investigating, and representing the human past. Likewise, intimate engagement with the writings of

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METHODOS SERIES VOLUME 6 Editors DANIEL C OURGEAU , Institut National d’Études Démographiques ROBERT F RANCK , Université Catholique de Louvain Editorial Advisory Board P ETER A BELL, London School of Economics PATRICK D OREIAN, University of Pittsburgh S ANDER G REENLAND, UCLA School of Public Health R AY PAWSON, Leeds University C EES VAN DER E IJK, University of Amsterdam B ERNARD WALLISER, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Paris B JÖRN W ITTROCK, Uppsala University G UILLAUME W UNSCH, Université Catholique de Louvain

This Book Series is devoted to examining and solving the major methodological problems social sciences are facing. Take for example the gap between empirical and theoretical research, the explanatory power of models, the relevance of multilevel analysis, the weakness of cumulative knowledge, the role of ordinary knowledge in the research process, or the place which should be reserved to “time, change and history” when explaining social facts. These problems are well known and yet they are seldom treated in depth in scientific literature because of their general nature. So that these problems may be examined and solutions found, the series prompts and fosters the setting-up of international multidisciplinary research teams, and it is work by these teams that appears in the Book Series. The series can also host books produced by a single author which follow the same objectives. Proposals for manuscripts and plans for collective books will be carefully examined. The epistemological scope of these methodological problems is obvious and resorting to Philosophy of Science becomes a necessity. The main objective of the Series remains however the methodological solutions that can be applied to the problems in hand. Therefore the books of the Series are closely connected to the research practices.

For further volumes: http://www.springer.com/series/6279

Daniel Little

New Contributions to the Philosophy of History

123

Prof. Daniel Little University of Michigan-Dearborn Office of the Chancellor 4901 Evergreen Road Dearborn, MI 48128-1491 USA [email protected]

ISBN 978-90-481-9409-4 e-ISBN 978-90-481-9410-0 DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-9410-0 Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York Library of Congress Control Number: 2010931245 © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010 No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Printed on acid-free paper Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media (www.springer.com)

Contents

1 Introduction: History’s Pathways 1.1 The Historian’s Tasks . . . . . 1.2 History of the Present? . . . . 1.3 Metaphors for History . . . .

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