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What do we mean by the philosophy of history?

Immanuel Kant - graffiti.
Immanuel Kant – graffiti. PHOTO: Dipsey – Wikimedia Commons.
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The Encyclopædia Britannica presents the following definition:

Philosophy of history, the study either of the historical process and its development or of the methods used by historians to understand their material.”

By the philosophy of history, we mean the previous definition: the study of the historical process and its development. We also use it as a synonym for the term “universal history” created by Immanuel Kant.

All the great philosophers of history have presented the ‘human path’ in the following way:

  1. They have explained the essential difference between humans and animals as briefly, succinctly and simply as possible.
  1. They have summarised the basic phases of the development of humankind. In doing that, Occam’s razor must be used: the presentation must be as short as possible. Everything unnecessary must be removed.
  1. The present is an integral part of history. Thus, a philosophical presentation of universal history should outline, clarify, and sharpen the basic teachings of history. Only in this way it is possible to see the main trends of the future.

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Immanuel Kant - graffiti.

Immanuel Kant – graffiti. PHOTO: Dipsey – Wikimedia Commons.

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