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Danto's Philosophy of History in Retrospective

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Danto's Analytical Philosopy of History is one of the undisputed classics of post-war reflection on the nature of historical writing. Upon its publication in 1965 it was immediately recognized to be a major contribution to contemporary historical thought. Strangely enough, however, little effort was made by philosophers of history to penetrate into the depth of Danto's argument. The explanation is, perhaps, that there was more than a hint of historicism in Danto's conception of historical writing and for which philosophers of history at that time were not yet prepared. This explanation is all the more plausible since German philosophers of history – most notably Hans Michael Baumgartner – were far more sensitive to the book's message than their Anglo-Saxon colleagues. The result is, however, that the book still awaits its proper reception in contemporary philosophy of history.

Affiliations: 1: Groningen University


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