Upon completion of this course, you are able to:
- Identify important dilemmas and discussions within the field of philosophy of history, and their concomitant concepts and arguments;
- Apply basic insights derived from philosophy of history in analyses of historical textbooks and scholarly texts;
- Position yourself as a (comparative) historian in relation to relevant issues on the basis of acquired expertise and to formulate their position adequately in oral and written form.
This course aims to provide an up-to-date panorama of philosophy of history and the way in which thinking about history has transformed since the beginning of the professionalisation of the academic historical disciplines. It also aims to introduce students to major debates in the field, help them to use insights from philosophy of history in their own engagement with academic texts, and to form informed opinions about the value of philosophy of history for historical research and writing.|
This course consists of six lectures and six seminars. In the lectures, the main lecturer will present an introductory and at the same time comprehensive survey of the philosophy of history, and the way in which thinking about history has transformed since the beginning of the professionalisation of the academic historical disciplines. Throughout this lecture series, the lecturer will also address specific aspects of comparative history in relation to questions raised within the context of modern philosophy of history. In the seminar following each lecture, students will reflect on topics raised in the lecture itself, and they will also discuss the additional papers/articles provided for each week. These papers/articles connect to one or more major issues dealt with in the lectures, and will at the same time introduce important figures and ideas in contemporary debates. Students will make concise reading reports (max 400 words) of each paper/article, and prepare specific seminar assignments to help them understand the materials offered in the lectures, as well as the readings in question, and to facilitate the discussion during the seminars.