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Philosophy and Its HistoryAims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy$
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Mogens Laerke, Justin E. H. Smith, and Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857142.001.0001

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The Anthropological Analogy and the Constitution of Historical Perspectivism

The Anthropological Analogy and the Constitution of Historical Perspectivism

(p.7) 1 The Anthropological Analogy and the Constitution of Historical Perspectivism
Philosophy and Its History

Mogens Lærke

Oxford University Press

This paper argues how an oft-repeated comparison between the historiography of philosophy and contemporary cultural anthropology, habitually invoked in order to support arguments in favor of relativist if not outright skeptical arguments about historical truth, can be put to a more constructive use. First, by spelling out the epistemological implications of some methodological intuitions most acutely formulated by anthropologists, it sketches out a method for the historiography of philosophy dubbed historical perspectivism. This method stresses the role that contextually internal perspectives play in the constitution of the true historical meaning of past philosophical texts. It also discusses how historical perspectivism is a form of historical actualism.

Keywords:   perspectivism, contextualism, anthropology, actualism, historical perspectivism

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