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1 - Methodological Remarks on the History of Ideas vs. the History of Concepts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 October 2020

Axel Honneth
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
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Summary

This introductory chapter clarifies the methodological approach that will be applied in the intellectual history that follows. It differentiates between conceptual history and history of ideas and explains why the method adopted lies between them. On the one hand, a conceptual history is impossible, because the word “recognition” is rarely used in the different cultures under investigation, which employ different words to describe the same relation between two subjects, for instance “amour propre” in French and “sympathy” in English. On the other hand, this book is more than a simple history of ideas, because it compares the different cultures in order to reconstruct one and the same concern, namely how to understand the relations between subjects after the decline of the feudal order, in which these relations were taken as stable and unchangeable.

Type
Chapter
Information
Recognition
A Chapter in the History of European Ideas
, pp. 1 - 9
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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