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Idealism as Transnational War Philosophy, 1914–1918

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the introduction of German idealism in Britain. Then, it analyzes the status of idealism in war philosophies and deals with the development of different concepts of Idealism in Britain and Germany after the First World War. In terms of methodology, the chapter follows the 'Cambridge School of intellectual history' developed by John Pocock and Quentin Skinner. This approach does not exclude the acting subject, as Foucauldian discourse analysis tends to do, but rather analyses the subject's interference in discourse in terms of innovation and tradition. This "speech-act-will" can only be recognized if the horizon of experience as well as the linguistic, political, social, and cultural context is considered. In addition, the chapter draws on the theory of travelling concepts as formulated by Mieke Bal and others. Idealism also varied regionally between different countries of the United Kingdom, and between academic and public discourses.

Keywords: Cambridge School of intellectual history; First World War; Foucauldian discourse analysis; German idealism; John Pocock; Mieke Bal; Quentin Skinner; theory of travelling concepts; war philosophy



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