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Re-enacting in the Second Person

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image of Journal of the Philosophy of History

R. G. Collingwood’s theory of re-enactment has long been understood as an important contribution to the philosophy of history. It has also been challenging to understand how re-enactment is operationalized in the practice of understanding past actors or, indeed, other minds occupying less remote regions of our experiences. Sebastian Rödl has recently articulated a compelling defence of second person ascription, arguing that it is, in form, analogous to first person understanding. By Rödl’s lights, second person understanding follows the same order of reason as its first person counterpart. In this paper I argue that Rödl’s case for second person understanding, and its relationship to the first person point of view, is at once compelling in its own right but also helpful in explaining how re-enactment may be operationalized.

Affiliations: 1: Mount Royal University, Email:


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