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Dangerous Memories and Reason in History

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A critical examination of "dangerous memories" illuminates the shortcomings of attempts to master the past when history is understood as a neutral medium for revealing the integrative forces of reason; an empty vessel to be filled with the facts of the way things were; or the product of an interpretive fusion of horizons between past and present. The disruptive potential of memory resists narrative control. A new model of historical understanding is needed wherein thinking is not a flight into transcendental categories but a form of critical responding that makes judgment possible.


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