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From Historicism to Historical Sociology: An Examination of Nikolai Aleksandrovich Rozhkov’s Nomothetic Scheme of Historical Evolution 1

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This article takes as its point of departure Thaden’s claim that the paradigm shift from historicism to historical sociology in Russian historiography at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century was an abortive one. It demonstrates that Nikolai Aleksandrovich Rozhkov (1868-1927) not only created the first post-Kliuchevskian historical sociology but that he did so using a Comtean nomothetic approach to social evolution. This is the first time that the theoretical underpinnings of Rozhkov’s interpretation of history as encapsulated in his laws of social statics have been explored in any detail. This article draws the conclusion that the positivist tradition created opportunities for cross-fertilization with other major currents of thought, including Marxism, and sheds new light on this relationship.

Affiliations: 1: The Rozhkov Historical Research Centre in New South Wales, Australia


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