THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY: An Introduction
There are two aspects of history as a subject. One, is an account of a significant past of human activity. What is significant is a question of the present at all times. Thus a chronicle is different from history which is a living not dead account of the past written by the trained historian located in the present. Two, history cannot be written without a historian engaging with the philosophy of history. This is similar to a scientist being one only in a relationship with the philosophy of science. Seen like this, history is a science of the past with its own general principles. Thus, without generalisation there is no history possible. In the ultimate analysis, therefore, the philosophy of history is bound up with the nature of historical thinking and the procedure of history writing which emanates from this. In sum, the historian is both a philosopher and scientist. The deeper meanings of historical thinking are brought to the surface in this terse book. A must read for everyone interested in the philosophy and method of critical history relevant to our times.
W.H. Walsh was a 20th century British philosopher and classicist. He was an expert on Immanuel Kant.