The Home of American Intellectual Conservatism — First Principles

May 24, 2018

Intercollegiate Review Archive

Volume 4, Number 1
November-December 1967


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  • You Don’t Say
    John William Corrington

Book Reviews


What is history for?….[It] is ‘for’ human self-knowledge. It is generally thought to be of importance to man that he should know himself: where knowing himself means knowing not his merely personal peculiarities, the things that distinguish him from other men, but his nature as man. Knowing yourself means knowing, first, what it is to be a man; secondly, knowing what it is to be the kind of man you are; and thirdly, knowing what it is to the man you are and nobody else is. Knowing yourself means knowing what you can do; and since nobody knows what he can do until he tries, the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is.
The Idea of History
R. G. Collingwood (1889-1943)

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