From Historical Structures to Temporal Layers: Hans Freyer and Conceptual History

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The article assesses, for the first time, the significance of the sociologist, philosopher, and conservative political theorist Hans Freyer for German conceptual history. Freyer theorized historical structures as products of political activity, emphasized the presence of several historical layers in each moment, and underscored the need to read concepts with regard to accumulated structures. He thus gave significant impulses not only to German structural history but also to conceptual history emerging out of it in the work of Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and, most notably, Reinhart Koselleck, whose theories of temporal layers in history and concepts reworked the Freyerian starting points. Underscoring the openness and plurality of history, criticizing its false “plannability,” and reading world history as European history writ large, Freyer shaped the politically oriented theory of history behind Koselleckian Begriffsgeschichte. Further, Freyer theorized the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century transition to the industrial society as a historical rupture or “epochal threshold”, which bears close, and by no means coincidental, similarity to Koselleck’s saddle time thesis. Freyer’s theory of history sheds light on the interrelations of many Koselleckian key ideas, including temporal layers, the contemporaneousness of the non-contemporaneous, the plannability of history, and the saddle time.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftHistory and Theory
Volym59
Utgåva1
ISSN0018-2656
Status!!Accepted/In press - 25 mar 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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title = "From Historical Structures to Temporal Layers: Hans Freyer and Conceptual History",
abstract = "The article assesses, for the first time, the significance of the sociologist, philosopher, and conservative political theorist Hans Freyer for German conceptual history. Freyer theorized historical structures as products of political activity, emphasized the presence of several historical layers in each moment, and underscored the need to read concepts with regard to accumulated structures. He thus gave significant impulses not only to German structural history but also to conceptual history emerging out of it in the work of Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and, most notably, Reinhart Koselleck, whose theories of temporal layers in history and concepts reworked the Freyerian starting points. Underscoring the openness and plurality of history, criticizing its false “plannability,” and reading world history as European history writ large, Freyer shaped the politically oriented theory of history behind Koselleckian Begriffsgeschichte. Further, Freyer theorized the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century transition to the industrial society as a historical rupture or “epochal threshold”, which bears close, and by no means coincidental, similarity to Koselleck’s saddle time thesis. Freyer’s theory of history sheds light on the interrelations of many Koselleckian key ideas, including temporal layers, the contemporaneousness of the non-contemporaneous, the plannability of history, and the saddle time.",
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From Historical Structures to Temporal Layers: Hans Freyer and Conceptual History. / Pankakoski, Timo Juhani.

I: History and Theory, Vol. 59, Nr. 1, 25.03.2019.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

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