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Historical consciousness

(1,460 words)

Author(s): Jordan, Stefan
1. PreconditionsAn important characteristic of human thought is the consciousness of the finitude of human existence. This existential connection of the individual to death is different from historical consciousness (French  conscience historique, German  Geschichtsbewusstsein), which is an insight not into the ephemeral nature of human existence but its historicity. There are two essential preconditions for developing a historical consciousness: (1) historical consciousness requires the concept of development, such that an i…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,246 words)

Author(s): Jordan, Stefan
1. Concept and definitionThe Sattelzeit (saddle period) is defined as the period from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century. The term was coined by Reinhart Koselleck to denote a phase of historical transformation during which medieval and early modern language and the political and social conditions associated with it were superseded by the modern terminological world that continues to this day. In terms of its metaphorical character, the image of the Sattelzeit is structurally comparable to other concepts of transitional phases or interim epochs, such as the “Mi…
Date: 2021-08-02

Humankind, human being

(5,417 words)

Author(s): Rüsen, Jörn | Jordan, Stefan
1. Introduction Biologically speaking, “human being” refers to the subspecies homo sapiens sapiens, a social mammal characterized by bipedality and the use of tools to alter its environment. The concepts of "human being" (Greek  ánthropos, Latin  homo, early modern English man) and “humanity” or “humankind” (Latin  humanitas or  humane genus; cf. Greek  anthrṓpinon génos) were handed down to the early modern period in the form of fixed Greek and Latin terms. They then became associated with a range of traditions of philosophical (natural history,…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,809 words)

Author(s): Lehmann-Brauns, Sicco | Jordan, Stefan
1. ConceptAs a scientific ideal of the 19th century, objectivity denotes the aim of achieving knowledge independent of the subject of the scientist. Given the emphatically normative sense appertaining to the claim of objectivity from the 19th century, it is astonishing to note that the specifically modern usage of the term dates only from the late 18th century [6].From the days of scholasticism to the verge of the 19th century, the Latin esse objective denoted the merely conceptual, the cognitively intended [3. 45]. The scholastic categories of the subjective and objective…
Date: 2020-04-06