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Historik and Hermeneutics: The Heidelberg Lectures
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
2014 (English)Student paper second term, 5 credits / 7,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In Heidelberg 1985 the historian Reinhart Koselleck gave a lecture with the title “Hermeneutik und Historik”to the occasion of the birthday of the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer. In response to this Gadamer answered with a lecture entitled

Historik und Sprache – eine Antwort”. The purpose of this paper is to analyse these two lectures, compare them to each other, and discuss the importance of their historical context.


In Koselleck’s lecture he develops his own notion of a “Historik”, that is, a form of historiology or meta-history. With his Historik he does not aim to study empirical history itself, but instead the conditions of possible histories. He locates what he considers the most central of these conditions in a number of historically transcendental categories that together make up five oppositional pairs. The five pairs are the following: 1: the possibility of killing and the inevitability of dying; 2: friend and enemy; 3: inner and outer; 4: parent and child; 5: Master and subordinate. He does not view these as the only factors that generate history, but he does see them as categories that have always been very present in the histories that we know and also always must be taken into account when studying the conditions for future histories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 25 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-21361Local ID: MittuniversitetetArchive number: HI-V14-G2-015OAI: diva2:697540
Subject / course
History HI2

Godkännandedatum 2014-01-27

Available from: 2014-02-18 Created: 2014-02-18 Last updated: 2014-02-18Bibliographically approved

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Torell, Alexander
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