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History as Re-EnactmentR. G. Collingwood's Idea of History$
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William H. Dray

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238812.001.0001

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(p.323) Epilogue
History as Re-Enactment

Dray William H.

Oxford University Press

This epilogue summarises what has emerged with regard to both R. G. Collingwood's view of the nature of historical understanding as re-enactment, and the place which that doctrine should occupy in a broader Collingwoodian theory of historical understanding. The nature of Collingwood's theory of re-enactment has been explored, along with its limits and its relation to some other ideas which play, or are thought to play, a legitimate role in historical thinking. Collingwood's idea of re-enactive understanding has been discussed, and the idea that re-enactive explanation might simply be an incomplete form of scientific explanation has been noted and rejected. Two other Collingwoodian ideas which have been treated at some length are the idea of an a priori historical imagination and Collingwood's doctrine of the ideality of the past.

Keywords:   history, R. G. Collingwood, re-enactment, historical understanding, historical imagination, ideality, scientific explanation, subject-matter

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