Human Nature and Historical Knowledge: Hume, Hegel and Vico
This book presents a study of the nature and conditions of historical knowledge, conducted through a study of the relevant theories of Hume, Hegel and Vico. It is usually thought that in order to establish historical facts, we have to have a theory of human nature to support our arguments. Hume, Hegel and Vico all subscribed to this view, and are therefore discussed in detail. Professor Pompa goes on to argue that there is in fact no way of discovering anything about human nature except through historical investigation. It is necessary therefore to find a different way of thinking about how we discover historical facts. This is done in the last chapter where, in opposition to almost all present views, it is argued that we must have a framework of inherited knowledge before we can believe in anything which results from historical enquiry.
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accept according actions activities actual argued argument aspects asserts basis becomes beliefs causal causes certain character claim concept concerned conclusions concrete connection consciousness constancy constitutive contingent course depends determinate difficulty discussion earlier effect empirical establish evidence example existence experience explain fact final follows freedom further give given grounded Hegel historian historical knowledge human nature Hume Hume's Ibid idea ideal eternal history important individual inference inherited institutions interests interpretation involved kind latter logically means nation necessary Nevertheless noted objective offer operation original particular past philosophical history possible present presupposes principles priori problem produce question reason reference relation relationship result sense shared simply situation social society spirit subjective suggestion theory thesis things thought true truth turn understanding uniformity universal Vico Vico's whole