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Jan Horský JIŘÍ PEŠEK, Setkáni s Klio. Studie z dějin dějepisectví

Jan Horský ZDENĚK VAŠÍČEK, Jak se dělají filosofie

Jan Horský Subject’ and ‘Objectivity’ in the Th eory of Historiography

Autor ve svém polemickém příspěvku, který reaguje na text Mikuláše Čtvrtníka, upozorňuje na dnes často nereflektované užívání pojmu subjektivní a objektivní v historických, antropologických a sociologických textech. Teoretický příspěvek se soustředí na subjekt badatele a na subjektivitu jako způsob vnímání sociální reality v poznávajícím procesu.

Jan Horský WERNER PARAVICINI, Die Wahrheit der Historiker

Jan Horský DANA ŠTEFANOVÁ, Erbschaftspraxis, Besitztransfer und Handlungsspielräume von Untertanen in der Gutsherrschaft. Die Herrschaft Frýdlant in Nordböhmen, 1558–1750

Jan Horský “Prejudices on the Scholarly Standards of Historiography”

This paper responds in a discussive manner to a critical review by Miloš Havelka of the third edition of František Kutnar‘s and Jaroslav Marek‘s book Přehledné dějiny českého a slovenského dějepisectví, published in Dějiny – teorie – kritika 6/2009, pp. 380–387.

Jan Horský ZDENĚK VAŠÍČEK, Archeologie, historie, minulost

Jan Horský God or Evolution?

This study is based on a comparative analysis of certain features in the thinking of two Protestant liberal theologians, the Czech divinity scholar, historian of religion and subsequent proponent of comparative religious studies František Žilka and the classic German writer on the sociology of religion Ernst Troeltsch. Here the author focuses primarily on their conception of historical development in relation to religious values. While Troeltsch recognizes the possible influence of social and economic conditions on religion, Žilka on the other hand understands religion to be a factor in the creation of social structures. In contrast to Troeltsch, however, Žilka is more prone to recognize the influence of nationalities on the various forms of (Christian) religion. Both concur in seeing elements within Protestantism which contribute to the democratic development of society. Both authors also agree that the validity of religious values themselves cannot be decided by historical or sociological methods. Both wish to tone down the methods used in 19th century historism by acknowledging the autonomy of theological methods.

Jan Horský VLADIMÍR URBÁNEK, Eschatologie, vědění a politika. Příspěvek k dějinám myšlení pobělohorského exilu

Jan Horský JONATHAN BOLTON (ed.), Nový historismus/ New Historicism

Jan Horský ZDENĚK R. NEŠPOR, Víra bez církve? Východočeské toleranční sektářství v 18. a 19. století; ZDENĚK R. NEŠPOR, Náboženství na prahu nové doby. Česká lidová zbožnost 18. a 19. století

Jan Horský What is a ‘National Framework’?

This is a contribution to the discussion on Miloš Řezník’s article, ‘Narodní kategorie a současná historiografie’ (National categories and contemporary historiography), published in Dějiny – teorie – kritika 3/2006, p. 7–34. I operate nominalistically with the category of nation. In contrast to the study of history in the ‘national historical framework’ I propose the historical analysis and microhistorical correction to the macro-analytical approaches of ‘national history’ (both in principal in agreement with Řezník). The main part of my discussion is, however, concerned with Řezník’s argument that one cannot leave the ‘national historical framework’ without also taking up a position on national identity. My emphasis here is on Weber’s idea of ‘value neutrality’. I also point out the need to distinguish between different layers: (1) (potential) national life, (2) national consciousness, (3) consciousness and a reflected identification of oneself as a member of a certain nation, and (4) the situation in which national motifs enter into the intentionality of social behaviour. These levels should not be confused when conducting research.

Jan Horský "The Meaning of History" – "Nation" – a priori

Jan Horský's reflections are not intended as a direct polemic with Miloš Havelka's introductory essay to his anthology of texts The Dispute over the Meaning of Czech History, vol. 2 1938–1989 , but focuses on some noetic and methodological problems associated with the concepts of "meaning of history" and "nation", that as it were oscillate both in Havelka's texts and in those which as editor he has included in the anthology. Horský's emphasis is on texts written in the 1970s in connection with reactions provoked by the Charter 77 document The Right to History. In addition, Horský gives a detailed analysis of Havelka's concept of the "symbolic centre" and excavates its influence on the formation of very various and often contradictory pictures of history.

Jan Horský MILOŠ SLÁDEK (ed.), Svět je podvodný verbíř aneb výbor z českých jednotlivě vydaných svátečních a příležitostných kázání konce 17. a prvých dvou třetin 18. století

Jan Horský FRANK FÄTKENHEUER, Lebenswelt und Religion. Mikro-historische Untersuchungen an Beispiel aus Franken um 1600

Jan Horský Theories as a Constitutive Feature of Scientificity and Their Place in Czech Historiography

This is a report about the Xth Congress of Czech Historians, which took place on September 14–16, 2011 in Ostrava. It aims to outline the structure of discussions on the position of theories in Czech historiography in the past ten years. In the area of ‘theories about historical science’, it focuses on the contributions of Miloš Havelka (the notion of a ‘symbolic centre’, identification of three basic paradigms of the philosophy of history) and on the concepts proposed by Zdeněk Vašíček (duality of ‘story’ and ‘picture’, ‘archeologisation of history’). With regard to the place of theory in historical sciences, the author highlights studies (Daniela Tinková, Lucie Storchová, Veronika Čapská) that focus on comparing a general theoretical concept with empirical material. And last but not least, the article tries to evaluate the position of theoretical thinking in Czech ‘historiographical environment’ in the broadest sense, concluding that it does not seem to be particularly prominent.

Jan Horský DANIELA TINKOVÁ, Jakobíni v sutaně. Neklidní kněží, strach z revoluce a konec osvícenství na Moravě

Jan Horský What Should We do with Narrative Critiques of Historiography?

It seems apparent that a narrativist critique of historiography should be replaced by a criticism of narrativism from the perspective of historical science. What remains to be seen is whether the current non-representationalism can well serve to this task. The non-representationalist perspective shifts emphasis away from the question to what extent a historiographic text can represent the past and towards questions after the origin and nature of historiographic text. Can the advocates of non-representationalism admit that ‘the past’ can be in principle represented by a text? The relation between a representation (the relation between a text and ‘the past’) is not a subject of their interest: either because such a representation is not possible or because we cannot say about it anything with any certainly, eventually because that while it may be possible, it is of secondary importance for a historiographic text. Answering these questions is especially difficult since some of the key terms, especially ‘the past’ and ‘past reality’, remain unclear. The idea of historiography as a ‘science of the past’ or ‘writing about the past’ can, however, be contrasted with other approaches. According to some of these other notions, historical sciences investigate certain (selected) current entities. They are trying to understand them as traces by placing them in mutual configurations using a dynamic diachronic interpretation. It remains to be seen, however, whether the rationality of historiographic thesis can be determined without establishing its relation to some ‘materiality’. Differences in conclusions arrived at by a narrative critique of historiography and by the theory of historical science could be the result of the fact that historiography always includes at least two perspectives: the perspective of literary synthesis and a perspective of a scientific synthesis.

Jan Horský JIŘÍ ŠUBRT, Individualismus a holismus v sociologii. Jak překonat teoretické dilema?

Jan Horský Comparative Approach as a Way of Making Historiography More Scientific?

When implemented as part of an ‘analytic approach’, comparative methods can help make historiography more scientific. They can counterbalance the current emphasis on narrativity of historiography. Miroslav Hroch’s studies make valuable contribution to this subject. One should, however, carefully consider a number of questions: Are the analogies we ‘found’ by comparing various processes and situations really ontic in their nature or are they rather just concepts in the sense of ideal types we ourselves project onto the realities studied? Or are they perhaps just plots we use as instruments to help us select phenomena to follow? It also remains to be seen whether some processes of sociocultural change happen analogically because they share the same autonomous internal dynamics or because their actors intentionally and consciously copy imitate one another. Hroch uses a comparative approach also to consider possibilities and alternatives of development. Alternatives are the subject of ‘contrafactual analysis’, which is an approach to which Hroch is rather sceptical. I do not share his scepticism, at least not in full. While it cannot lead to unambiguous outcomes, contrafactual analysis can help us better understand historical situations and processes in the sense of Weber’s concept of ‘chances’.

Jan Horský Narrativist Criticism of Historiography and the Interface Between Historiography and (Natural Science) and Between a Historical Construction and Literary Fiction

With the contribution of Jan Horský and Jakub Češka, the editors of the journal Dějiny – teorie – kritika open a discussion of the issue of narrativism and narrativist criticism of historiography. In doing so, we would like to provoke a debate that would lead to a deeper reflection about the forms of historical narration with emphasis on interdisciplinary approach on the border between history and literary science.

Jan Horský PAVLÍNA CERMANOVÁ, Čechy na konci věků. Apokalyptické myšlení a vize husitské doby

Jan Horský The Stories of Life

In current biosemiotics, semiosis and narrativity of life are often treated as pertaining to its defining features (Markoš). Narrative historical interpretations and metaphorical representations contained in them (Ankersmit) do not have precisely corresponding ontic counterparts. Nonetheless, both Ricoeur’s and Markoš’s conception of narration and metaphors should make it clear to historians and theorists of history that this does not imply that historical interpretations have no ontic counterparts. Within the context of historical sciences, one can claim that the ‘cultural objects’ of historians – even when viewed as products of the culture that is the object of the study – are much more transitory, and semiosis is much more ambivalent, than the ‘objects’ studied by biologists, if we take this term to mean the products of semiotic processes of life itself. In biosemiotics, the field where the meaning and reference of narratives of life are revealed is the morphological field of shapes. That is then the correlate of the ‘field’ or ‘space’ of the spirit (Geist) or transcendental consciousness (Bewusstsein) known from the humanities. This correlation can be of interest to theorists of history from the point of view of cultural constructivism.

Jan Horský ‘General History’, ‘Content-Oriented Philosophy’ of History, and the Theory of Evolution

Horský in his discussion paper analyses the relation between ‘general history’ and ‘content-oriented philosophy’ of history. This helps him approach the subject of the role of philosophy of history in historical and scientific research. He uses the term ‘content-oriented philosophy of history’ in a broad sense, that is, including its classical conceptions (August Comte, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx), its innovated forms (for instance Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of culture), as well as its variants which approach the subject from the perspective of historical sociology (Max Weber, Alfred Weber, Norbert Elias). Aside from that, the author investigates the relation between general history and other sciences or research directions which deal with development or processual changes (especially evolutionary biology) and their investigations to some extent overlap with some forms of content-oriented philosophy (‘history’, ‘life’, etc.). And last but not least, Horský investigates whether some claims (describing a state of affairs, developmental tendencies, and the like) made within the framework of ‘general history’ or against its background could also aspire to being true in a scientific sense of the term. It is concluded that there is indeed some overlap between content-oriented philosophy of history and general history. General history can be a field where some concepts originating in the content-oriented philosophy of history can be (quasi)empirically checked and some of its parts can be translated into theories in a narrower sense of the term. Nevertheless, where content-oriented philosophy of history or general (biological or culturological) theory of evolution is used as the background of general history, it must be taken into account, duly considered, and thereby also checked. The same holds if general history functions as a necessary background of any formulation of research-worthy subject of historical sciences: in such case, its presence or influence must likewise be duly reflected.