Mr Martin Davies

Emeritus Reader in the History of the European Enlightenment

Martin DaviesContact Details

Email: mld@le.ac.uk

 

 

 


So naturally does the past take precedence, so pervasive is the cognitive reflex to historicize whatever happens, it seems that any general theory of knowledge must start with a critical theory of historical knowledge. But theory here does not imply anything abstract, anything governed by pre-emptive conceptualizations. Rather it defaults to reality, to the only premise knowledge has, to what Marx in The German Ideology calls ‘real, active human beings and their real life-process ’. Suspending the idea that history is an academic activity sui generis, it analyzes the preoccupation with history as a social practice, the significance of it as a social fact. It offers a phenomenology of history-focussed behaviour. This, the premise of Historics (2006), is further developed in Imprisoned by History (2010).

Research

PhD Supervision

Historics: the philosophy and theory of history; the nature of historical knowledge; European-Jewish philosophy/cultural criticism since Moses Mendelssohn; European Enlightenment and its contemporary implications; and European cultural theory and criticism since the Enlightenment.

Most Recent Publications

  1. The Enlightenment and the Fate of Knowledge, Essays on the Transvaluation of Values (Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2020), xii + 202pp. [ISBN 978-0-367-08689-3]
  2. How History Works. The reconstitution of a human science (Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2016), xiv + 179pp. [ISBN 978-1-138-93212-8]
  3. Imprisoned by History. Aspects of Historicized Life (New York: Routledge, 2010) , xiii + 259pp.
  4. Historics: Why History Dominates Contemporary Society (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), xii + 287pp.
  5. Identity or History? Marcus Herz and the End of the Enlightenment (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995), xiv + 344pp.

Share this page: