Philosophy of History Midterm Study Sheet Midterm, March 12, 2015



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Philosophy of History Midterm Study Sheet – Midterm, March 12, 2015
Short answer questions. The following is a list of many of the key terms and concepts we have discussed so far in class. Use this list to prepare for the short answer section of the midterm. There will be 10 short answer questions on the exam, of which you are to answer 8 (5 points each).
Bread-and-butter scholar 3 types of history

Universal history spirit

Lessons from new world freedom

4 problems in doing history cunning of reason

imperishable chain State

historian’s task Orient

inner causal nexus Persians

teleological history Greek tragedy, democracy, sport

trends and creation of energies problems with Greek spirit

structural forms reformation

end of history

Essay question. Two of the following three will be on the midterm. You are to write an essay on one of those two (60 points):





  1. An important issue in the philosophy of history is the debate concerning the contingency of historical events. Some argue that no event in history is accidental, that everything happens of necessity; others take issue with this position. By focusing on the writers we have discussed in class, detail the arguments that are made for both sides of this debate. Which side, if any, do you find makes the most compelling argument? Explain.




  1. In a number of ways, Hegel’s understanding of history develops themes that were also found in the writings of Schiller and Humboldt. In this essay highlight the significant places where Hegel’s philosophy of history develops points that were found in Schiller’s and Humboldt’s texts. How does Hegel’s approach differ? Elaborate. How, finally, might one find a Hegelian understanding of history expressed within contemporary discourse and society?




  1. Using Hegel to interpret the history of western cultures, one can claim that there is a pendulum shift from individual to universal-centered periods of history. Discuss some of these periods and the historical evidence Hegel and others might present to make this case. Hegel then argues that the oscillation between individual and universal finally ends with the state as that which embraces both the universal and the individual. Explain how Hegel believes the State does this.


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