History has always been more than just the past. It involves a relationship between past and present, perceived, on the one hand, as a temporal chain of events and, on the other, symbolically as an interpretation that gives meaning to these events through varying cultural orientations, charging it with norms and values, hopes and fears. And it is memory that links the present to the past and therefore has to be seen as the most fundamental procedure of the human mind that constitutes history: memory and historical thinking are the door of the human mind to experience. At the same time, it transforms the past into a meaningful and sense bearing part of the present and beyond. It is these complex interrelationships that are the focus of the contributors to this volume, among them such distinguished scholars as Paul Ricoeur, Johan Galtung, Eberhard Lmmert, and James E. Young. Full of profound insights into human society pat and present it is a book that not only historians but also philosophers and social scientists should engage with.
Meaning and Representation in History
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