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palgrave advances in intellectual history by Brian Young (Editor) Richard Whatmore (Editor)

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By Brian Young (Editor) Richard Whatmore (Editor)

The prior 3 a long time have visible a amazing development of curiosity in highbrow heritage and this e-book offers the 1st entire survey of contemporary study during this box. every one bankruptcy considers advancements in highbrow background, and indicates the methods highbrow historians have contributed to extra confirmed disciplinary enquiries.

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Duncan Forbes, who had won the Military Cross during the Italian campaign in the Second World War, pioneered the pursuit of intellectual history at Cambridge; his special subject on the Scottish Enlightenment was the first intellectual history option to be adopted by the Cambridge History Faculty. John Robertson has pointed to the intellectually influential undergraduates who studied the subject with Forbes: John Dunn and Quentin Skinner, who remained in Cambridge, and Jose Harris, who moved to Oxford after a period of teaching at the London School of Economics.

Wilson's study of the history of socialism in Europe and Russia, To the Finland Station (1940), was written from a political position well to Berlin's left, a position many intellectually engaged British writers also occupied in the 1930s and 1940s. 26 The work of one such scholar, Anthony Blunt, the last of the Cambridge spies to be exposed (as recently as 1979), repays attention in this respect; it also demonstrates how intellectual history so frequently overlaps with the history of art. It should also be noted that the exile of an institution devoted to art and cultural history, the Warburg Institute, from Hamburg to London in 1933 has had an enormous impact in the field of intellectual history, notably in the work of Blunt's London University colleagues D.

And it is in recognising the ability of the past to surprise us, in attending above all to what does not fit our preconceptions, that we can learn. We cannot be without preconceptions, but they can be more or less insulated from surprise, and the more systematically technical we try to make them the more effectively insulated they are likely to be, and the deafer we shall be to anything we did not already intend to hear. I must guard against misunderstanding here. I am not saying, absurdly, that in our renderings of past discourse we should be restricted to the vocabulary of that discourse, though I would always feel more comfortable in remaining closely in contact with it.

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