Krytyka rozumu historycznego w Zarysie historyki Johanna Gustava Droysena

Mateusz Bonecki, Anna Malitowska


This paper addresses the problem of validity and justification of historical science in Johann Gustav Droysen’s “Outline of History” firstly published in 1858. Authors convince that Droysen has anticipated Dilthey’s concept of the critique of historical reason. Firstly, Droysen’s position is defined in terms of empiricism, which assumes that historical material is an expression of inner experiences. Secondly, the understanding of such expressions is understood as possible due to “moral commonalities” which represent a body of knowledge shared among representatives of particular historical communities. It is also argued that such “common knowledge” is embedded in systems of norms like morality, custom, and law. Finally, the authors posit that the grounds for scientific study of history can found in Kantian concept of “transcendental freedom” that implies that human existence is not only subjected to causal laws but also to norms in a sense of morality. The latter understanding explains in what sense perceivable phenomena may be interpreted as expressions of meaningful agency, which paves the way for Droysen’s theory of interpretive historical studies.

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