The History of Political and Social Concepts: A Critical Introduction

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9780195088267: The History of Political and Social Concepts: A Critical Introduction

Since the 1960s, German scholars have developed distinctive methods for writing the history of political, social, and philosophical concepts. Applied to France as well as Germany, their work has set new standards for the historical study of political and social language, Begriffsgeschichte. The questions these scholars address, and the methods they apply systematically to a broad range of sources, differ as much from the styles of Hegel, Dilthey, and Meinecke as from those of A.O. Lovejoy, J.G.A. Pocock, and Quentin Skinner.

Begriffsgeschichte treats political language neither as autonomous discourse, nor as the product of ideology, social structure, or elite manipulation. Although conceptual historians agree that the field of action is defined by language, they place concept formation and use within historical contexts. By surveying political and social discourses systematically, this genre traces how the great modern revolutions have been conceptualized in sharply contested forms by competing political and social formations, as well as by individual thinkers. Combining intellectual with social history, historians of concepts track linguistically the advent, mentalities, and effects of modernity.

In The History of Political and Social Concepts, Melvin Richter analyzes the theories which have generated conceptual history, and their reinterpretation of key concepts such as Max Weber's three types of legitimate Herrschaft, and that of civilitÖè in France. What is it that we know when we learn the history of a concept? What difference does it make that we know it? After assessing the programs and achievements of Begriffsgeschichte, the author argues the need for an analogous project to chart the careers of political and social concepts used in English-speaking societies. Addressed not only to historians of political and social thought, this work will interest students and scholars of political culture, social historians, and historians of ideas, historiography, law, language, and rhetoric.

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From the Back Cover :

Since the 1960s, German scholars have developed distinctive methods for writing the history of political, social, and philosophical concepts. Applied to France as well as Germany, their work has set new standards for the historical study of political and social language, Begriffsgeschichte. In The History of Political and Social Concepts, Melvin Richter analyzes the theories which have generated conceptual history, and their reinterpretation of key concepts such as Max Weber's three types of legitimate Herrschaft, and that of civilite in France. What is it that we know when we learn the history of a concept? What difference does it make that we know it? After assessing the programs and achievements of Begriffsgeschichte, the author argues the need for an analogous project to chart the careers of political and social concepts used in English-speaking societies. Addressed not only to historians of political and social thought, this work will interest students and scholars of political culture, social historians, and historians of ideas, historiography, law, language, and rhetoric.

About the Author :

Melvin Richter is at City University of New York Graduate Center and Hunter College.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This book outlines and illustrates a new approach to intellectual history - the history of concepts . In distinction to the study of more traditional units of analysis, (authors, texts, traditions, discourses) conceptual history systematically combines the history of ideas and language with social history in such a way as to illustrate how changes in language both registered and shaped great transformations of government, society, economy, and mentality. With its origin in German social thought, and now gaining popularity in the US, this approach has affinities with some British intellectual history (Pocock, Skinner) and French discourse analysis, yet Richter carefully demonstrates how conceptual history makes important advances over each by focusing on the range of a terms s meaning, its changes, and its continuities, while avoiding pitfalls of deconstruction. This volume will be indispensable for historians of political and social thought, political and social philosophers, and those interested in the history of ideas. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780195088267

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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1997. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This book outlines and illustrates a new approach to intellectual history - the history of concepts . In distinction to the study of more traditional units of analysis, (authors, texts, traditions, discourses) conceptual history systematically combines the history of ideas and language with social history in such a way as to illustrate how changes in language both registered and shaped great transformations of government, society, economy, and mentality. With its origin in German social thought, and now gaining popularity in the US, this approach has affinities with some British intellectual history (Pocock, Skinner) and French discourse analysis, yet Richter carefully demonstrates how conceptual history makes important advances over each by focusing on the range of a terms s meaning, its changes, and its continuities, while avoiding pitfalls of deconstruction. This volume will be indispensable for historians of political and social thought, political and social philosophers, and those interested in the history of ideas. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780195088267

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