Metaphysics as history, history as metaphysics

Marnie Hughes-Warrington*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    R. G. Collingwood's writings do not sit neatly within any of the major approaches to metaphysics. Moore's Evolution of Modern Metaphysics corrects the conventional exclusion of Collingwood's thought, only to position him as contributing an 'interlude. I argue that this treatment does little to bring the far-reaching implications- and problems-of Collingwood's reversible treatment of history as metaphysics and metaphysics as history to the fore. In particular, I highlight Collingwood's not having worked through the ontological implications of historians actively making meaning of the past, including potentially creating absolute presuppositions. In the end we are not sure whether this is ontologically committing or even a variety of modal fictionalism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)279-284
    Number of pages6
    JournalPhilosophical Topics
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


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