Rationalization of Universal History

Rationalization of Universal History

Sicco Lehmann-Brauns

The formerly monopolized claim to explanation of Historia sacra was destroyed in the process of the "rationalization of universal historical knowledge" in the face of new chronological findings, geographical discoveries, and intensified cultural-historical discourse interests. This process of debilitating the history of bible-lexical history and its chronology is in the tension of "Knowledge and Belief" because evidence of the Jewish-Christian interpretation monopoly of history and its methodological anchoring in the exegesis of the Holy Scriptures provide strategies for the investigation of historical knowledge. The project was therefore devoted primarily to the methods by which the newly discovered extrabiblical history of history was developed.

Against the backdrop of the conflicts of the Pyrrhonists, the historiography was established in the course of the eighteenth century, particularly by recourse to the methodological instruments of critical philology as a discipline with clear criteria for the rational control of fides historica, and consequently with the claim to being scientific. Since historiography was thus so strictly limited to the field of credible written tradition, the philosophy of history was particularly marked by those areas that had to be excluded from the history of science for the sake of knowledge.

In this project three strategic approaches, which were methodologically constitutive for the historical philosophical use of the margins of history, were taken into account, until their exploration in the course of the nineteenth century passed over to new emerging disciplines:

  1. Rational bible/contra-literary interpretation (such as of the Pentateuch)
  2. Reconstruction of the prescriptive past from present reason and experience by means of analogy
  3. Interpretations of the natural state hypothesis as a historical scenario
  • Weisheit in der Weltgeschichte. Die Entstehung der Philosophiegeschichte zwischen Barock und Aufklärung (Dissertation FU-Berlin 2002), Niemeyer, Tübingen 2004. Der geschichtsphilosophische Hintergrund von Leibniz‘ Universalwissenschaft, in: Nihil sine ratione. Mensch, Natur und Technik im Wirken von G. W. Leibniz, hrsg. v. H. Poser, Bd. 5, Hannover 2002, S. 237-247. Die Neuordnung der Gelehrsamkeit. Heumanns ‚Conspectus rei publicae litterariae‘ als Beispiel aufgeklärter Wissenschaftskritik, in: Historia literaria, hrsg. v. F. Grunert u. F. Vollhardt, Göttingen 2004 (im Erscheinen)