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Skinner, Wittgenstein and historical method

Skinner, Wittgenstein and historical method
Skinner, Wittgenstein and historical method
In a recent criticism of Quentin Skinner's historical method Peter Steinberger has drawn upon linguistic analytic philosophy to argue that intellectual history should focus on the reconstruction of logical propositions rather than the contextualization of author's statements. This essay will argue that Steinberger reproduces many of the same types of methodological problems that prompted Skinner's initial critique of intellectual history in the 1960s. I will draw upon the linguistic philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein to demonstrate that Steinberger's conception of intellectual history as the reconstruction of the logical content of statements fundamentally misunderstands what political philosophy is?–?and by extension the methods of historical interpretation.
wittgenstein, quentin skinner, historical method, interpretation, speech acts, context
0264-8334
371-387
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a
Havercroft, Jonathan
929f9452-daf9-4859-9f59-88348846949a

Havercroft, Jonathan (2011) Skinner, Wittgenstein and historical method. Paragraph, 34 (3), 371-387. (doi:10.3366/para.2011.0031).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In a recent criticism of Quentin Skinner's historical method Peter Steinberger has drawn upon linguistic analytic philosophy to argue that intellectual history should focus on the reconstruction of logical propositions rather than the contextualization of author's statements. This essay will argue that Steinberger reproduces many of the same types of methodological problems that prompted Skinner's initial critique of intellectual history in the 1960s. I will draw upon the linguistic philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein to demonstrate that Steinberger's conception of intellectual history as the reconstruction of the logical content of statements fundamentally misunderstands what political philosophy is?–?and by extension the methods of historical interpretation.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: November 2011
Published date: 2011
Keywords: wittgenstein, quentin skinner, historical method, interpretation, speech acts, context
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 348464
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/348464
ISSN: 0264-8334
PURE UUID: 9839b4db-6719-4004-8423-c607ae98ad81
ORCID for Jonathan Havercroft: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0995-8912

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Date deposited: 13 Feb 2013 14:13
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:44

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