The Role of “The Individual” in History: The Theory of “Agency”

  • W. Peter Archibald


As suggested previously, a discussion of the relative autonomy and distinctiveness of individuals and the changing circumstances which affect them is an incomplete account of “human nature as modified in each historical epoch”. Among the missing elements are answers to these questions: how do circumstances themselves change, and to what extent do they change because individuals themselves consciously intend to, and do, change them? How do individuals feel about their social relations and themselves, what is their experience of, and knowledge about them, and how do these affect the reproduction or change of the circumstances they encounter?


Social Relation Human Nature Capitalist System Surplus Labour Slave Labour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 9.
    G. F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind (New York: Harper and Row (Torchbook), 1967) pp. 228–40 (Chapter IV, part A).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© W. Peter Archibald 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Peter Archibald
    • 1
  1. 1.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

Personalised recommendations