Full History: On the Meaningfulness of Shared Action

2017.08.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Steven G. Smith, Full History: On the Meaningfulness of Shared Action, Bloomsbury, 2017, 245pp., $91.99 (hbk), ISBN
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2017.08.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Steven G. Smith, Full History: On the Meaningfulness of Shared Action, Bloomsbury, 2017, 245pp., $91.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781474260336. Reviewed by David Weberman, Central European University In the mid-20th century, a distinction was made between two types of philosophy of history: i) analytical philosophy of history whose object of study is our knowledge of history and ii) substantive philosophy of history whose object is history itself in its most universal and fundamental features. The first type belongs to epistemology; the second, to metaphysics. Many philosophers at the time reasoned that such universal features, if there are any, can only be empirically ascertained and, consequently, that while the analytic project is legitimate, the substantive philosophical project is bogus. Nowadays such a strict division between the two seems questionable. This book is not clearly on either side of this demarcation. . .

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