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Title: Hervorming of euthanasie van de metafysica?
Subtitle: R.G. Collingwood versus Wilhelm Dilthey over de historische rol van metafysica
Author(s): VANHEESWIJCK, Guido
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 77    Issue: 2   Date: 2015   
Pages: 273-307
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.77.2.3087653

Abstract :
R.G. Collingwood greatly admired Dilthey’s philosophy of history. In this article, I show that despite the obvious affinities between both authors, their views on the historical role of philosophy are clearly divergent. I focus on one topic in particular in their writings, namely, the status of metaphysics and its relation to history. Whereas Dilthey argues that the awareness of the historicity of metaphysics and its psychological-hermeneutical foundation inevitably leads to the euthanasia of metaphysics, Collingwood defends the possibility of a reform of metaphysics into a historical discipline, based on a logic of question and answer. The analysis of the difference between these two thinkers with respect to the role of metaphysics consists of three steps. First, I situate Dilthey’s critique of metaphysics into the whole of his oeuvre, followed by a presentation of his ‘solution’ to the metaphysical antinomy. Second, I focus on the role of Collingwood’s reform of metaphysics and on his ‘solution’ to the metaphysical antinomy. To that end, I make use of Collingwood’s recently (partially) released unpublished manuscripts so as to shed greater light on his rejection of Dilthey’s understanding of the historical role and defi nition of metaphysics. Finally, I reformulate the diff ering statuses of metaphysics between these two thinkers by relating their divergent views to their respective understandings of human fi nitude.

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