history and philosophy

There has been an interesting number of posts at the newapps blog on the relationship between history and philosophy. Since I deal with historical issues in some detail in Deleuze’s Hume, devoting an entire chapter to an analysis of the history of the Scottish Enlightenment, for example, I’ve thrown my concept of historical ontology into the mix and have posted on it over at newapps (here). I provide links in this post to the other posts that have been discussing this topic. As I note there, the term historical ontology was one Foucault mentioned in his “What is Enlightenment?” essay, but he mentions it without fully elaborating its implications. Ian Hacking picks up the term and has written an essay on historical ontology which is published in a book of the same name. Yet even here, I argue, the full implications of the concept are not addressed. Hacking uses the concept in order to elucidate the processual nature of the subject of knowledge, or to lay out the dynamics associated with the various ways in which a subject can be, whereas I understand it more generally, in a Deleuzo-Spinozist manner as a concept that can elucidate the processual nature of beings in general. In short, it’s an effort to cash in on Foucault’s project while drawing on the work of Deleuze and a reading of early modern philosophy, especially Hume and most recently Spinoza.

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