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Publication Details

On the Epistemological Advantage of the Vanquished: C. Schmitt and R. Koselleck

(Original title: O epistemologickej výhode porazených: C. Schmitt a R. Koselleck)
Filozofia, 72 (2017), 10, 789-799.
Type of work: Articles
Publication language: Slovak

The paper critically examines Carl Schmitt’s and Reinhart Koselleck’s contributions to the reflection of the epistemological advantage of the vanquished. Both authors claim that the experience of being defeated contains a unique potential for creation of innovative historical interpretations and historiographic procedures which have long-term usefulness. Adverse historical development intensifies explanatory pressure on the vanquished historian and directs his attention to long-term factors that have influenced this development. Non-ideological analysis of these factors facilitates the discovery of historical connections which are repeatable and will probably occur in later historical contexts. Both authors polemicize against the philosophical-historical principle History is written by the victors which does not prove itself in the long-term perspective. In this paper I especially focus on typological aspects of the analysis of the phenomenon of defeat.


A. de Tocqueville, Anthropological constant, C. Schmitt, Epistemological advantage, Philosophy of history, R. Koselleck, Theory of defeat

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