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Historical Experience as a Mode of Comprehension

Abstract : In the past two and a half decades, Frank Ankersmit has developed a complex notion of historical experience. Despite its many virtues it has at least one major difficulty: it implies a sharp separation between experience and language. This essay aims to bridge this gap while preserving the positive aspects of Ankersmit’s theory. To do this, I will first present the ontological and epistemological implications of Ankersmit’s notion of historical experience. Next, I will present my objections to his idea. Finally, I will propose two modifications to his notion of historical experience: first, in the epistemological sense by considering historical experience as a form of Louis Mink’s configurational comprehension and, second, in the ontological sense by relating historical experience with the vitalist ontology of José Ortega y Gasset.
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Contributor : Rodrigo Díaz Maldonado <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 9:36:07 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 24, 2020 - 3:12:04 PM




Rodrigo Díaz Maldonado. Historical Experience as a Mode of Comprehension. Journal of the History of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019, 13 (1), pp.86-106. ⟨10.1163/18722636-12341352⟩. ⟨hal-02545246⟩



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