Leopold Von Ranke Essay
The core objection that Ranke raises against the philosophy of history, …show more content…
Closely related is Ranke’s contention that philosophy of history, anticipating an ideal historical destiny, adopts a prophetic position rather than one that looks backwards, analyzing past events to understand them and their causes. Here though Ranke occasionally seems to slip. For example, he imagines that had James II not been overthrown, “English policy would have thenceforth been forever chained to that of France” (72) and that, were it not for the rise of Frederick, France may have “maintained a perpetual domination” (81) over the divided German states.
Ranke produces other attacks on the philosophy of history method that he does not avoid so nimbly. Like someone who rounds a square peg to fit it nicely into a round hole, philosophers of history according to Ranke fit history to their theories by engaging in selective analysis of specific works and events. While the Marxist philosopher of history would doubtless spend copious amounts of ink documenting the lead up to the October Revolution in Russia, he doubtless would pass over the