Sonntag, 7.7.2024, 16:30h

Lutz Raphael

Defending Professional Historical Reasoning with Kant

My talk reconstructs a line of critical reasoning in history and the social sciences that takes up Kant’s arguments on the topic of history. The theoretical and political profile of what can be called “historical rationalism” (Bourdieu) was shaped by two controversies: one against the liberal and later socialist philosophies of history as linear or dialectical that converge on the idea of the present as progress, and second, the critique of radical skepticism or cultural relativism. Arguing with Kant in history means to defend an epistemic constructivism that defends claims to truth and rules of scholarly practice in reconstructing the past. Kant’s regulative idea thus becomes the defense of an historically embedded rationality.

Lutz Raphael is a professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Trier. He received his doctorate from the University of Münster, where his dissertation, Partei und Gewerkschaft (“Party and Labor Union”), looked at the trade union strategies of the communist parties of France and Italy since 1970. He went on to complete his habilitation at Technische Universität Darmstadt, with a thesis on the historiographical methods and French nouvelle histoire movement of the Annales school from 1945 to 1980. He has held teaching positions at the University of Tübingen, the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the Université Paris-Didérot, the Humboldt University of Berlin, St. Antony’s College Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the German Historical Institute in London. From 2007 to 2013, Raphael served as a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities, and the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz. He received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2013, and has been an editor for Neue Politische Literatur and Journal of Modern European History. He has chaired the Association of Historians in Germany since 2021.

Veranstaltung in englischer Sprache