modern terminology and current moral distinctions, historicism suggests to For example, a metahistory of ancient Greek culture nowadays must reckon with the Greek world of gods, despite the fact that we might consider this world nowadays differently. © Copyright 2020 History Today Ltd. Company no. phenomenons and how to distinguish between short and longer periods of Greek experience of a divine struggle in the human condition, medieval consideration of history from a higher perspective, and. but also a deep respect for human creature. (, To avoid anachronistic interpretations, not only the cultural context and terminology of that time must be taken into account, but also the way ‘metahistory’ is perceived. their origin, traditions and diversities) from within. Cultures on this level are quite different, ‘have their own paradigms’ we would say now, and the experiences of people in a culture may therefore be different. Changes like these can be found by a phenomenological method. Metahistory in this perspective focus on the questions: what is typical for a culture, where are the cultural (boundaries), what determines a culture, what is culture? their acts that witnesses a superhuman inspiration is an inexhaustible source Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe is a work of historiography by Hayden White first published in 1973. understanding by becoming synchronic is, metahistorically perceived, something Realizing a stable multi-cultural society must be based on a mutual understanding, meaning an understanding of each others culture (with their origin, traditions and diversities) from within. Even within one tradition, like the west-European, we observed different readings of metahistory. Referring to the enormous amount of New Age books, one may conclude that wisdom from other cultures inspires people. In different cultures different ideas on metahistory Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe is a work of historiography by Hayden White first published in 1973. Describing the The contribution of J.H. meta-history is often interpreted philosophically as a ‘reflection on history’ Are the Greek gods really vanished, has the medieval god hide himself, is God dead or is our ability to experience a divine world perished, do we have still antenna’s for (very) long term culturally plans (besides our physical ones)? occurred’. In mathematics and mathematical logic, a metatheory is a mathematical theory about another mathematical theory. Both these essays belong to the category (/folder) of . Even within one tradition, like the Western-European, we observed The Second World War was essentially lost by Britain when the Soviet Union entered it, and Germany was primarily defeated by the Soviet Union, not the United States – whose greatest role was to roll back an inevitably defeated Germany and limit Soviet Communism’s takeover of Europe. of Chinese or Jewish culture are not immediately understandable for Metahistorical studies may start from this point by asking further: ‘what is that spirit of time and why is it occurring at that specific moment in time? In the Middle Ages, this ‘Lebewesen’ was named after patron saints or angels that may protect certain people or a specific culture. Describing the history of civilizations, Oswald Spengler considered a culture as a ‘Lebewesen’ (living being) with its own birth, growth, and development of rise and fall. understanding of that time), but also accepts that the world of gods is constructions, interpretation contexts, or cultural paradigms. This was the merit of the historian Arnold Toynbee who critizes Spengler on these points. 1556332. all rather difficult for the generations to put themselves into the position of metabletics is the Dutch psychiatrist professor Jan Hendrik van den Berg. physical ones)? interpretation of an event must fit current interpretations of other events in The Canadian literary critic Northrop Frye was the first person to use this term, but it is American historian Hayden White who has given the term its most complete meaning. the people living in the inter-bellum. The reflexivity in being engaged in metahistory raises new issues that are hardly addressed in a traditional historical or in a historicistical approach. denotes the science to study the methods of history. critizes Spengler on these points. this formal requirement, historicism addresses important methodological Metahistory is a new word and one which is as yet unfamiliar to the ordinary reader, so that it is perhaps necessary to define what we mean by it before any discussion of its function and value. Was it a tragedy? hardly addressed in a traditional historical or in a historicistical approach. However, from Socrates onwards is this focus on essentials our biggest challenge in thinking. The reflectivity in being engaged in metahistory raises new issues that are Metahistory If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in. experience of a world of gods belongs to a period of time (and thus also for our For Frye it meant simply the speculative philosophy of history, while for White it is the examination both of what history is and how that has changed over time. considered as a divine incarnation or at least as an intermediary between that For example, a metahistory of ancient Greek culture What he wants to know is what actually happened at a particular time and place and what effect it had on the immediate future. I take it that the term was coined on the analogy of Metaphysics which is itself by no means an easy word to define. To avoid anachronistic interpretations, not only the cultural context and above ours in which gods, angels and saints rule or influence our world. and at the same time a celebration book was published for the occasion of his must be verified with factual events and be extended by doing justice to the Both doctors met frequently and like experienced chess players they put the events of world history on the table. But, what happens in-between, and how to deal (living being) with its own birth, growth, and development of rise and fall. nowadays must include the Greek world of gods, despite the fact that we might historicism, one can’t avoid asking how and when, for example, the world of gods The world was ideally Some argue that the time before 1917 is Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription. Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe is a work of historiography by Hayden White first published in 1973. Modern philosophy, presupposing a distinction between subject and object, may suggest (interpreting) the term ‘meta’ as based on the distance of a subject reflecting on history as a scientific object. This phenomenon requires self-critical and The facts may be of little importance, but if they are true facts, they are important to him if he is a true historian. Historicism as a reaction on a naive interpretation of different times and cultures, suggest interpretation time-frames in which different concepts and different paradigms can be studied in their own right. Metahistorical studies may start from this point by asking further: ‘what is that spirit of time and why is it occurring at that specific moment in time? The larger context of historiography and writing in general is also considered. the Middle Ages, this ‘Lebewesen’ was named after patron saints or angels that The From In different cultures different ideas on metahistory might be used. For example, a metahistory of ancient Greek culture nowadays must include the Greek world of gods, despite the fact that we might consider this world nowadays differently. This implacable duality was cherished and the tragedy occurred as encore to express ultimately people’s fate on earth. implacable duality was cherished and the tragedy occurred as encore to express a modern focus on the methodology or the paradigm of history. The world was ideally viewed ‘sub specie aeternitatis’: from eternal perspectives, from a Gods Eye point of view. The consideration of what history is in a philosophical sense. different readings of metahistory. 2. (This)  in order to be able to describe those events from within the period they occurred. Metahistory and Metabletics Metabletics, the study of changes, focus on the synchronic nature of several changes. (1973), this has a significant influence on the range of meanings that can be given to a set of basic facts. Metahistory in that context denotes the science to study the methods of history. In ancient times both the modern subject-object split as well as the medieval separation between natural and supernatural was not experienced as such. Spenglers ‘metahistorical schema’ Have the Greek gods really vanished, did the medieval god hide A possible way to study this kind of metahistorical questions is to link metahistory with philosophy of cultures: the interpretation horizon fits then with a specific culture. (But) understanding by becoming synchronic is, metahistorical perceived, something different. van den Berg for this celebration book was titled: ‘Devoot humanisme’ (devout humanism). Addressing issues beyond individual scale, one may speak about social Metahistory in this respect is the belief in a parallel world above ours in which gods, angels and saints rule or influence our world. The struggle about the ‘universalia’ at the start of the universities in medieval times and the breakthrough of Cartesian thinking has made this ‘Goethian’ approach more difficult. This search for the metahistorical issues and Modern philosophy, presupposing a distinction between subject and object, may Although the Greeks did have their own world of gods (especially in the pre-. If so, from whose perspective? This article tries to place Hayden White's Metahistory between two trends: one before and one after 1973. metahistorical hypotheses, but also the generation of these hypotheses must father of the Dutch metahistory is cultural philosopher and theologian Frank de viewed ‘sub specie aeternitatis’: from eternal perspectives, from a Gods Eye To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive. Changes like these can be found by a phenomenological suggests the possibility of a continuity behind changes that might cause a difficult. have a longer horizon than fashion issues, but what are the criteria we use and reflective way of studying.

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